Outlaws Of The SunNeon Burton - Mighty Mondeo (Album Review)
Release Date: October 11th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD
Mighty Mondeo - Tracklisting
01 Dew Drops 05:04
02 Sundazed 08:19
03 Neon Sleep 08:26
04 Trans Siberian Express 06:19
05 Mighty Mondeo 07:14
06 Bathysphere 07:16
Henning (Vocals/Guitar), Simon (Bass) and Emil (Drums)
After 10 years of reviewing albums within the Stoner Rock/Metal genre I never thought I would be reviewing an album named after the Ford Mondeo that is a whole concept album about dealing with the harsh forces of Mother Nature and trying to get to their final destination of Greece. Well, that’s what the album description states on BandCamp.
This record stretches the boundaries of Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal. The album is heavy but only when it needs to be and it uses the quiet and almost Post-Rock or Post-Stoner grooves for great effect. This is a band with an intriguing story to tell with influences such as Earthless, Weedpecker and Monkey3. Neon Burton do their damn best at playing a cinematic style of Stoner Rock/Metal which they succeeded despite a few bumps along the way.
The first song Dew Drops is purely instrumental and has a 70’s Prog Rock feelling with modern Stoner vibes. It can be quite jazzy in places but it’s mostly Psych Stoner Rock played for instrumental kicks and extended jams.
Second song - Sundazed - is another offering with that jazzy feeling being further into the background and Neon Burton concentrate on playing their Prog/Psych hybrid sound that becomes distinctively heavier in the later stages of the song. There’s time for the band to find a subtle twinge of Desert Rock. Hanning’s glorious vocals kick-in around the 4 minute mark and it’s good to have some lyrics to give extra weight to the overall story and message of the album.
There’s a cool lo-fi DIY vibe heard within the DNA of the album especially on the production side of things. Whilst the album does sound good there were times I wanted everything to be that little bit heavier and perhaps more “bounce” into the final mix. That’s my only complaint about Mighty Mondeo as everything else makes this an intriguing and first rate Psychedelic experience.
The remaining songs on the album focus more on the Prog Rock side of things but still buoyant with Stoner Rock/Metal energy especially on songs such as: Neon Sleep, Mighty Mondeo and Bathysphere.
The instrumental work is varied and different that allows Neon Burton to flex their creative muscles for a wide array of different grooves and sounds. Lyrics are another strong focus for this record as the listener will curiously be swept away by the different themes and ideas on the record.
Neon Burton is a name perhaps you haven’t heard of before but maybe within time these guys can be more noticed within the Stoner Rock/Metal community. As this is a surreal and trippy journey that shows huge promise for the band. This is Neon Burton’s 2nd album and I still feel we haven’t heard the “real” Neon Burton yet though it’s going to be quite exciting to see what they will release next.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
High Desert Queen - Secrets Of The Black Moon (Album Review)
Release Date: October 15th 2021. Record Label: Ripple Music. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Secrets Of The Black Moon - Tracklisting
1.Heads Will Roll 04:32
2.The Mountain Vs. The Quake 04:36
3.As We Roam 05:16
4.Did She? 03:44
5.The Rise 01:48
7.The Wheel 06:02
8.Bury The Queen 08:16
Ryan Garney – Vocals, Guitar
Rusty Miller – Lead Guitar
Matt Metzger – Bass Guitar
Phil Hook – Drums
Secrets Of The Black Moon is the debut album from Cosmic Doom/Stoner Rockers High Desert Queen where they fuse the sounds of the Desert and bring a Doom Metal heaviness to the party with an almost Progressive Cosmic mix that acts as the glue to hold everything together. With the band taking influence from bands such as KYUSS, Elder, Foo Fighters and Lowrider. Throw a rebellious early-QOTSA sound and you have an album that’s creatively strong throughout with lyrics, vocals and grooves.
The record does live deep within the 90s Desert/Stoner Rock sound but High Desert Queen are clever to bring the sound right upto the modern day with Psychedelic Space/Cosmic Rock vibes that brings an extra layer of heaviness to the album. The instrumental work is excellent with each band member bringing their own ideas and individual talents to the party.
The first few songs - Heads Will Roll, The Mountain vs The Quake and As We Roam is perhaps the strongest opening to an album I’ve heard in a long while. With heavy grooves that merge Desert/Stoner Rock grooves and the lyrics having a Foo Fighters upbeat quality to them even with the band falling under “DOES THIS DOOM” category and ultimately succeeding. The music moves or shall I say drifts from one psychedelic trip to the next with The Mountain vs The Quake being one of the standout songs on the record.
High Desert Queen are from Texas and you can easily compare them to fellow Texas riff-slingers WO FAT and Mothership. There’s a lot of similarities between all 3 bands and I can see why Ripple Music signed them to their ever increasing roster.
Secrets Of The Black Moon is a trip into the finer details of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Rock and the othe songs on the album allow the band to create even more stunning progressive based grooves with the record remaining diverse and heavy.
Other songs to check out are: Did She?, Skyscraper and Bury The Queen.
The main highlight of this album is how it reminds you of other bands you’ve grown up with but High Desert Queen still sounds so damn hip, fresh and original. The album is wonderfully classic hard rock without actually being classic hard rock. I know that’s hard to understand and it’s perhaps best to listen to the album to fully understand.
Secrets Of The Black Moon is aided by excellent recording and production values and I know I sound like a broken record but you expect this from a Ripple Music release. KUDOS must also goto Mr Blasko of Ripple Music for spotting this band and signing them to the label.
High Desert Queen have released an adventurous, rich and diverse album that is ready to take you on a Psychedelic Head-Trip into the realm of Doom/Stoner Rock with multiple visits fully guaranteed.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo.
You can buy Secrets Of The Black Moon on CD/Vinyl from Ripple Music links below
Heavy Psych Rock Masters WEEDPECKER Announce New Album, “IV”, And Share First Single!
Heavy Psych Rock Masters WEEDPECKER Announce New Album, “IV”, And Share First Single!
“IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts” Out On December 3, 2021 via Stickman Records
The vanguard of the Polish psychedelic heavy rock scene returns with a brand new album! Continuing to defy expectations and challenge what it means to be a “stoner” band, Weedpecker have crafted a new masterpiece: Their forthcoming album, entitled “IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts”, is set to be released on December 3, 2021 through Stickman Records.
After several fundamental lineup changes in the past years, fans of Weedpecker were left wondering what might become of the band’s newest incarnation. “III”, their last outing from 2018, was the final one with longtime bandmates Bartek Dobry, Robert Kulakowski and Grzegorz Pawlowski (the first of whom is remaining founding member Piotr Dobry’s brother). In 2019, the band gave a very brief glimpse into their new lineup featuring members of Dopelord, Major Kong and Belzebong while on a short tour. The most surprising change was the switch from dual guitars to a full-time keyboardist.
"I think it's the most refined album in our discography," says guitarist, vocalist & songwriter Piotr Dobry. "I've been asked many times if the album would be like III. Of course not, we don't want to record albums that would sound the same and I think we've already shown it. This album is a natural continuation of our previous albums, I think nobody will doubt they listen to Weedpecker!"
Today, the band has shared a first single taken from “IV”. Dive into Weedpecker‘s enthralling sound universe and listen to “Fire Far Away” right here:
“IV” is a deep, vividly textured psychedelic rock record with tons of layers begging to be picked apart upon multiple spins. Right from its start and driving album opener, it’s immediately evdient the band brings new elements into the mix. Etherial keys and twisting guitar lines meld in harmony, giving way to chunky riffs. The album surprises with mellow psychedelic gems reminiscent of early Tame Impala, blistering Oh Sees-esque rock bursts and of course the trademark melodic heavy riffage. Former co-lead guitarist Bartek has teamed up with the band in the position of engineer and producer, while also lending his arrangement skills. This combination of new input and experimentation has led to the most radical Weedpecker record thus far, a killer album which will doubtless make a late entry for 2021’s album of the year!
“IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts” will be available on 180gr. transparent yellow LP including download card and on CD, the album pre- sale will start on Friday, October 22, via Stickman Records at THIS LOCATION!
[ artwork by Maciej Kamuda ]
“IV” track listing:
01. No Heartbeat Collective
02. Fire Far Away
03. The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts
04. The Trip Treatment
05. Big Brain Monsters
06. Endless Extensions of Good Vibrations
07. Unusual Perceptions
08. Symbiotic Nova
Find Weedpecker Online:
An Interview With Ryan Garney From HIGH DESERT QUEEN
Texas Stoner Rockers High Desert Queen are a band I've only became aware of recently and that's down to their blistering debut album Secrets Of The Black Moon which is released on tomorrow on Friday October 15th 2021.The band's mix of Heavy Cosmic Stoner Rock has a real edge but one that seems quite familiar especially if you're a fan of other Texas based Stoner Rock bands such as WO FAT and MOTHERSHIP.What else do these bands all have in common. They're all currently signed to Ripple MusicI'll be reviewing their debut album in the next few days but until then you can read this interview I did with Ryan Garney (Vocals/Guitar) that gives the lowdown about this great band.
Hi Ryan. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today?
Doing very well! Thanks for having me.
For people not in the know can you give a brief history of your band and where it's today?
The band is relatively new as we really only started playing with the current lineup in December of 2019. Guitar player Rusty Miller and myself had a handful of songs written and recruited Phil Hook to play drums and Matt Metzger to play bass to help finish the songs and record an album. Things clicked right away as we finished those songs and wrote about 5 more in about 6 total rehearsals.We took the 12 songs into the studio and started recording immediately in late Feb. of 2020. After the first weekend in the studio we had finished all drum tracks and then the world shut down. We couldn’t even get together to rehearse but a few more times until we finally finished the record in Oct. of 2020. We were very lucky to be approached by Blasko who is now the A&R of Ripple Music after he heard our single, and we have been waiting to release this record for some time. In the meantime we’ve played a handful of live shows and have already written the music for the next album. So we really are still in the beginning stages of being a band.
What style of music do you play in your own words
We like to call it Texas Desert Rock or Texas Heavy Rock. We have a wide range of influences and they all come through in parts of our music.
Why did you choose your name High Desert Queen for your band and what does it have any meaning to you all?
I have always been in love with an area in the US called the “High Desert.” It’s the most beautiful place I’ve been to and it is very remote. It amazes me that life is able to be sustained in a place that’s so desolate. Mother Nature is one of the strongest elements in the universe we know, so the “Queen” represents her. So the name does truly signify one of the strongest beings we will ever know, the “High Desert Queen”
You're about to release your new album Secrets Of The Black Moon. Fantastic album. Really surprised me with the different styles of sounds you put into this record. What is the album about and what can people expect from this record?
Thank you for the kind words. Like I said earlier we created this album after only about 6 rehearsals. This really is an introduction to who we are as we were still trying to find ourselves musically. That really shines through on certain tracks that might be considered more straight hard rock, and then others where we get more out there and take the music on a journey. That was where we were starting to discover what our strengths were. It’s apparent for us which songs were written first and which were last in the writing process and wonder if people can too. They get a glimpse of where we are going as a band.What influenced or inspired you when making the album?
Really our only goal was to make music we could be proud of and would listen to ourselves. We all like different styles of music and we wanted our music to be able to blend in and be palatable to all genres that we like. Not all the songs we recorded made the album because they didn’t meet that standard in our mind.
Did COVID-19 have a big impact on how you decided to make the new album. Did you have to change the creative process and recording process for this.
It greatly affected the recording process as once we recorded the drums the world shut down and the studio we started in actually didn’t survive the pandemic. We had to search for another studio which was really challenging during a pandemic. Luckily Jeff Henson from Red Nova Ranch in Austin welcomed us in and produced our record. It was tough because all we wanted to do was finish the record and we couldn’t. But we did not let ourselves get stagnant and we continued writing music. That’s why even though the first album isn’t even out yet, we already have over 2 hours of material written to take into the studio.
COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected the band? And how are you surviving in this stressful time?
Due to the pandemic it was really hard to move forward as a band. We couldn't finish the record, couldn't do what we love best, which is play live shows and it put a huge delay on the release of the record. We are very lucky however to be in Texas where we are able to play live shows. We’ve probably still only played about 10-15 live shows as a band but at least we are working our way back to normal.
After everything is back to some sort of normality, what does the future hold for the band?
We have huge plans for 2022. We’ve begun planning our first overseas tour to the UK and Europe next May and June. We’ve been fortunate to be asked to play some festivals we’ve long admired. We are also planning a few US tours in the Spring, Summer and Fall. We are also planning to go into the studio this winter to begin recording the second full length album, plus we are going to record an all acoustic album. We have always admired bands whose music translated well acoustically. Some of the bands that played MTV Unplugged like Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Stone Temple Pilots were huge influences of ours. In some ways those recordings are superior to their other records. We feel it’s a lost art in this genre and want to do something to pay homage to those that came before us.
Will you be anxious, scared or excited when performing on the live stage again?
We can’t wait to get out there and play live shows. As a musician there is no greater thrill than playing music on stage and feeding off the energy of the people in front of you. Plus live music is needed now more than ever. Music brings people from all different backgrounds together and gives off so much positive energy that it can be healing and cathartic. Especially after that we’ve all gone through the past 2 years.
Ripple Music is releasing the album. How did you hook up with "THE GOAT" of underground Stoner Rock/Metal labels. Did you have other offers from other labels or was Ripple the only label for you all?
We were extremely lucky to have Blasko discover us after we independently released the single “The Mountain vs the Quake.” He reached out asking if we had a label and within 2 days we met with him and signed to Ripple. We never shopped for a label because when Blasko asks you to sign to Ripple Music as one of his special projects, you don’t hesitate!
Who are the band’s main musical influences? Any artists that may surprise your fans at all?
There would be way too many to list here. We all have such a wide range of influences. Some in this genre and some nowhere near it. We just like good music that makes us feel something deep down. I think most of our influences would surprise people, so I’ll just leave it at that.
What comes first for you all when making new songs. Lyrics or music.
For us up to this point it’s always been the music. We will write the music and then I’ll usually create a song title and then start building lyrics around the vocal melodies I’ve come up with. What’s great now though is the whole band is starting to help me write vocal melodies and that’s only going to make me better and the band better.
I have to say the album artwork is awesome. Matches the overall sound of the album and what style of music the band actually plays. Who designed the cover and what it means to you all as a band.
Solo Macello is incredible! Before we signed with Ripple we had art that we were ready to use to release it independently. However, as we started working with Blasko, he really pushed us to find great art and got us in contact with Solo Macello. We went back and forth for a few weeks trying to get the concept we wanted down, and we think he nailed it. We needed universal elements in our art and something that caught the eye, and still had meaning to us. His art encompasses all of that. If you like the cover art, just wait until you see the inside of the vinyl!
What got you all to start being involved with music and playing musical instruments. Was it a band, song, or album that ignited your passion for all things heavy music.
I think all of us at a very young age heard or saw a musician or a band and it hit us in such a way that made us fall in love with music. For me personally, my dad showed me a James Brown record when I was about 8 years old and I wore it out. Then he showed me a live performance of his and I was mesmerized. I immediately said “I want to do that.” I used to dance around in my kitchen blasting his cassette tapes trying to move like him. Nobody can move like him but I still tried.
Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans?
It still amazes me that we even have fans! We really appreciate anyone who takes the time to listen to our music. We know there is a lot of great music out there and we are beyond humbled that anyone would take the time to listen to ours. The only bit of wisdom I can give is not something we ourselves came up with, but just the idea of always trying to move forward.These have been some dark times we are living in, but the more you can push forward and continue to be creative the faster we can get through this. Also one thing I would like to say is something I truly believe in: try to only do things that you love. Love is the most powerful thing in the world and it is so much stronger than fear. Love everyone and don’t let fear or the fear of failure ever stop you from doing what you love!
Thank you so much for having me and for all that you do for the music scene. Much love from Texas and we hope to see all of you in person soon!Words by Steve Howe and Ryan GarneyThanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging this interview and all the press materials. Thanks to Ryan for doing this interview as well.You can buy Secrets Of The Black Moon on CD/Vinyl from Ripple Music links below
Wooden Fields - S/T (Album Review)
Release Date: October 08th 2021. Record Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Wooden Fields = S/T - Tracklisting
1.Read the Signs 03:58
2.Shiver and Shake 04:43
3.Should We Care 04:04
4.L'm Home 06:27
5.Don't Be a Fool 06:52
6.Wind of Hope 06:11
7.Endless Time 06:20
Sartez Faraj: Guitars & Lead Vocals
Sam Riffer: Bass & Backing Vocals
Fredrik Jansson: Drums & Percussion
Wooden Fields is the latest musical project featuring members from bands such as Siena Root, Witchcraft and Three Seasons. The band play a mixture of 70’s Classic Hard Rock with a healthy dose of Blues Rock, Stoner Rock and Psych Rock. Their debut self-titled release isn’t as heavy as I originally anticipated but it’s still a great slice of Classic Rock with fantastic instrumental work throughout.
The Blues Rock vibe is the main driving force here with Siena Root focusing more on melody than aggression with almost laidback classic hard rock vocals that come from the Bad Company/Free style of vocals. There’s a lot of hard rock swagger and confidence heard on the opening couple tracks Read The Signs and Shiver and Shake. The lyrics are bang on point for fans of 70’s Classic Hard Rock with flashy psychedelic grooves levelling up the progressive aspect of the album.
The 7 songs on offer on the record don’t break new musical ground but Wooden Fields still deliver wild riffs that ooze 70’s Hard Rock credibility. The band flirts between musical ideas from bands such as Cream, Led Zepp and Black Sabbath. Maybe they don’t go as heavy as the latter two bands but there’s still some highly powerful sounds on the record especially on the later stages of the album.
There are some fantastic grooves and jams that the members pull in from their current musical projects that it’s best just to sit back and enjoy the ride that Wooden Fields have delivered here. Excellent production values shine through which allow Wooden Fields feel right at home within the modern day Hard Rock scene.
This is a record that’s superbly entertaining and one that will have you coming back for more.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to Mona at All Noir PR for the promo. Wooden Fields debut album is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Argonauta Records.