Mexicoma – Kalpa Majestic Mountain Records – 2022 Rock, Stoner, Sludge, Metal Rated: *****
The massive mothersludgers of Mexicoma would do well on tour with Komatsu; and I would definitely follow that tour around the globe, going absolutely berserk at every show! For the new Kalpa record is a righteous sludge and stoner metal spectacle. We’ve been reviewing most or all of the releases these six crazy Swedes have put out throughout the years. Supervoid, Mexicoma, and that amazing Obsidian Monolith all got a mention on the HiVe. But looking back at those reviews does beg the question why there’s now an almost nine year gap between that last release and the new Kalpa; and we might need to dig deeper into the band to find the answer to that. But for now we will concentrate on Kalpa, featuring once again some great South American inspired art and all that good ruckus you already knew from Mexicoma. And it might be the fact that vocalist Magnus Olsson decided to leave and new singer Aron Andersson takes the reigns, but the sheer ferocity of the tracks seem to have risen quite a few nots. For the most part Aron’s voice seems to fit nicely in the same registers Magnus used to occupy, so going back in the catalogue for live shows will not be a problem. But where Magnus had the ability to go dark and moody, Aron has the ability to go metal and higher, much higher. Just listen to 99 Eyes or opener Heavy Hands, that bursts out of the gates like a proper introduction track for a new vocalist. It also shows its metal colors early and all that sludge and stoner we already told you about. And the fact that a new vocalist can hold his own with those three guitars riffing and powering away, show something about the ability Aron has. A new major selling point for Mexicoma. But some things stay the same, those three guitars attacking you full on, full out and without any quarter asked. And then there are those moments when even that attack goes a bit deeper, a bit more prog and that immediately gives you an inkling of what Mexicoma could possibly all do in the future. Lucky for all that need the savage stuff, the vicious almost aggro approach to all we love about the heavy underground, they bring it forth in abundance and in perfect style! Ready to destroy and to have it all be born anew, Mexicoma has recreated its own sound, the sound we all trust and love!
The Same River – Weight Of The World Electric Talon Records / Sliptrick Records - 2022 Rock, Stoner, Psych Rated: *****
Ever since hearing Weight Of The World by Greek formation The Same River I felt the urgent need to sit down to write a few words of love and praise for the album. But as usual, time eluded me and it took weeks, nay, months to finally get to it. And all that even after Ioannis Valiakos, from the Desert Vulture site already wrote some fine words for the Doom Charts Peroration of May and The Ripple Effect’s Pat Whitaker on the May Doom Charts, where they were featured proudly on the Number 19 spot. But it felt wrong to keep postponing the sit down. Slowly the weight was growing bigger, and my shoulders started to buckle. And then when the news came All Them Witches had to cancel their Krach Am Bach festival gig in Germany, it needed to be done quickly. For The Same River would fit snugly in that spot. Sure, The Same River formed in 2019 is only just now starting out, but the sound, the tones and the voice will surely remind everyone of All Them Witches. And that is not a bad thing! Weight Of The World has some bluer touches, some more metal thunders and perhaps more pounding than All Them Witches ever had. I might even be hearing a few; much heavier Madrugada touches, but that might just be me. Overall, The Same River seems to embody heavy psychedelic rock to the very core. Lyrically the album covey’s the band's “philosophical concerns about the decadence of human society filtered through the fears of an unknown world after this pandemic ends. Heraclitus, Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud and many mythological aspects of our heritage (with a deeper meaning), such as Sisyphus and Prometheus, blend in a way and fulfills in rhymes what their vision for this world is about; solidarity, peace and understanding.” Which is perfect ground to produce an album that is worth to stand next to all that ancient knowledge. It calls for honesty and pure of heart; something the nine tracks seem to thrive on. There are no masks in The Same River. Recorded during the pandemic in three different studios, the album fits together perfectly and sounds like a grand piece of art. That moves and projects images and emotions on a blank canvas and for you to do with what you like. For me it becomes this huge and in-depth adventure into every universal aspect you might be able to think of. But whatever it turns out to be for the rest of the world, the fact remains that this is an amazingly strong, brilliant and awe-inspiring album…
Mystery Dudes - Exit Through the Wormhole Electric Valley Records - June 2022 Stoner, Psych, Fuzz, Punk Rated: *****
Cruising in from Oslo, Norway are the Mystery Dudes with their debut LP, "Exit Through the Wormhole". Wielding righteous riffs coated in groove and fuzz to spare, Mystery Dudes deliver a high-octane stoner rock classic across eight tracks. Reminiscent of but standing apart from acts like Fu Manchu and American Sharks, "Exit Through the Wormhole" is a shot of adrenaline that knows how to have fun while melting faces off. Opener "Mountain of Chill" starts thing off full speed with a chainsaw chug of guitars and filthy bass, prime for headbanging and oozing good-times vibes, man. The sneering vocals are a highlight throughout the album, injecting a dose of punk attitude into the fuzz a la Eddie Glass. Follow-up "Evil Blood" is straight grimy, slogging doom, laying down a tumbling riff and fit for the grainiest of VHS music videos. A change of pace is soon at hand, however, with highlight track "Ghost Train" rolling through like its namesake, all gritty guitar and clattering percussion. The bass is particularly gnarly on this locomotive, and the track barrels forward with sinister intent towards a blown-out, sci-fi climax of blazing guitar. The aptly named follow-up track, "Punk" wears its heart on its sleeve and earns the high praise of sounding like a long-lost American Sharks tune. The jagged, uptempo riffage and snotty vocals demand fist-pumping and general smashing of shit, though not without a trick up its sleeve in the form of a smooth, psychedelic second half sans vocals. This gentler side of the Mystery Dudes shows itself again on the instrumental "Nebula", bringing to mind 90s alt rockers Live in its surprising melancholy, before diving back into Sabbath worship with the southern-tinged doomer "Mondo Hopeless". Another highlight, "Witch's Stare", delivers creeping occult vibes and a brick of a riff alongside absolute earworm lyrics. Closing number "Mexican Stand Up" closes the record out by bringing back the early punk energy, throwing grinding riffs at the listener with abandon in a gleeful psychedelic onrush. Mystery Dudes have a golden nug on their hands with "Exit Through the Wormhole", taking the best the stoner rock genre has to offer and elevating it to something immediate and exhilirating. Strap in.
AAWKS – (Heavy On The Cosmic) Self released – 2022 Rock, Stoner, Psych, Doom, Fuzz, Sludge Rated: *****
If you start your album with a snippet about Mescaline, you’re alright in my book and are allowed to call me any time of day. And if I realize it’s the four acid casualties united by a love for high fantasy, psychedelics, and heavy rock music on the other side of the line; it will drag me away from my masturbatory slumber and will make me feel alright about not fighting against all the injustice in the world. For if you listen to (Heavy On The Cosmic), you know there is nothing you have to do, ever, but feel all the warmth of all the people you’ve turned on, turned on to AAWKS that is. For AAWKS can do not wrong and everything right, they bring you catchy stoner, spacey doom and hard rocking psychedelics just as easy as thinking positive instead of negative can bring you extraordinary fortune. And in doing so, not only get better results for yourself but the entire universe. Cause that’s how the Great Magnet works. And out there in the cosmos you shall be overwhelmed first and foremost by that Star Collider track. Surfing the cosmic waves like a space age Fu Manchu addict; you suddenly become aware of the lead up to this track and how Space City that came before and The Electric Traveller before that all told you about this brutal interstellar adventure; and you will feel at peace with all of creation under this friendly dome and with eyes closed see that momentous eclipse in slow motion and you will understand. You will understand about all the spirals, going up and down this record. Going back then to Beyond The Sun, where the eclipse is yet to happen, the tonal doom and slow-moving riff currents will start you off properly on the road to become the space surfer you always knew you were… And there are more pathways to cut through this psychedelic space doom labyrinth; none of it will lead you to the center but going around in circles is all you want anyway. AAWKS transports you into another reality all together; and it will have a profound effect on you…