Stoner Rock

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CLUTCH Psychic Warfare Album Cover Psychic Warfare
CLUTCH
4.96 | 7 ratings
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CLUTCH Robot Hive / Exodus Album Cover Robot Hive / Exodus
CLUTCH
4.85 | 6 ratings
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CLUTCH Blast Tyrant Album Cover Blast Tyrant
CLUTCH
4.89 | 5 ratings
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SPIRITUAL BEGGARS Earth Blues Album Cover Earth Blues
SPIRITUAL BEGGARS
4.60 | 6 ratings
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CLUTCH Earth Rocker Album Cover Earth Rocker
CLUTCH
4.57 | 7 ratings
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MONSTER MAGNET Mastermind Album Cover Mastermind
MONSTER MAGNET
4.71 | 3 ratings
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FU MANCHU Daredevil Album Cover Daredevil
FU MANCHU
4.71 | 3 ratings
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CLUTCH Strange Cousins From the West Album Cover Strange Cousins From the West
CLUTCH
4.50 | 6 ratings
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DOZER Through The Eyes Of Heathens Album Cover Through The Eyes Of Heathens
DOZER
4.56 | 4 ratings
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CLUTCH Pure Rock Fury Album Cover Pure Rock Fury
CLUTCH
4.36 | 7 ratings
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CLUTCH The Elephant Riders Album Cover The Elephant Riders
CLUTCH
4.31 | 9 ratings
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MONSTER MAGNET 4-Way Diablo Album Cover 4-Way Diablo
MONSTER MAGNET
4.38 | 4 ratings
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XYSMA Lotto

Album · 1996 · Stoner Rock
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Triceratopsoil
Very strange album to be coming from a former death/grind band, though not totally unexpected given the trajectory Xysma's career had been taking up to this point. While the prior albums First and Magical and Deluxe being somewhat lighter & trippier variations on Entombed's "death-n-roll" theme, Lotto veers into stoner rock and even almost pop-punk. Think, a more garage version of Monster Magnet or Queens of the Stone Age. The production is intentionally a bit lo-fi, but it works.

The lyrics are goofy ("There's a feel I gotta be behind the wheel, I love my tram") and the vocals are split duty between croaky and (surprisingly good) clean. Overall, the thing that strikes me most about Xysma and especially Lotto, is how lighthearted and fun it all is. Hard not to have a good time listening to this album.

Favourite tracks: We Just Came Inside, New Gel In Town, The Tram

FU MANCHU Daredevil

Album · 1995 · Stoner Rock
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Unitron
If there's any band where the term desert rock perfectly applies, it's Fu Manchu. Their sound is all about driving dune buggies and convertibles on southern dirt roads and beach corners, crankin' your tunes, and just enjoying the summertime ride. No summertime blues here, other than the Blue Cheer distortion.

If you're looking for something more anthemic, California Crossing is the better album, but Daredevil is equally fantastic. It's basically 60's/70's heavy metal, but with the doom replaced with driving around. There's also some subtle space rock influence, in songs like Travel Agent, Sleestak, and Space Farm, but they're used as just nice embellishments to create a fuller sound.

Scott Hill's deadpan vocal delivery is probably the most iconic thing about the band, and this may be their album with the most fuzzy distortion, so it's all at its complimentary best. Like desert atmospheres, fast cars, distortion, and heavy riffs? If so, you can't go wrong here.

MONSTER MAGNET Mindfucker

Album · 2018 · Stoner Rock
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Kingcrimsonprog
Mindfucker is the tenth proper full-length studio album (if you aren’t counting redux albums and compilations). It was released on Napalm Records and released in 2018, 5 years after Last Patrol, which was the longest gap the band have had between albums to date, but the line-up stayed the same as last time.

To my mind, Monster Magnet have never made a bad album. Even their least popular album, 4-Way Diablo has my favourite ever Monster Magnet song (‘Wall Of Fire’) on it. But I do have to say that this album has been out for over half a year now and try as I might, I just can’t get into it.

Now there’s nothing majorly wrong with it per sae. It is well produced. The songs are pleasant. Nothing overstays its welcome. Nothing is bad or stupid. Nothing sounds wrong or doesn’t fit the band’s style. Everything is functional. But that’s it.

Usually, there are major moments to write home about. There are usually lyrics that make me want to tell my friends about. There are usually riffs that I want to air guitar to. There are usually inventive things the band haven’t done before. There’s usually more joy in the performance. Generally, there’s usually…more.

That’s not to say the album is worthless, ‘Brainwashed’ for example is very fun, and sounds like its tapping into the same jangly ’60s influence that ‘Dreaming Of You’ by The Coral is, only faster. ‘Want Some’ has some energy to it and would be your typical Monster Magnet rocker that they have pumping out since the fifth album. The opener and the title track are passable too.

The thing is though, its not enough. Its just an ok album. Perfectly fine. If it was your first Monster Magnet album you’d probably like it. But then when you get the other records, and you hear ‘Kiss Of The Scorpion,’ or ‘See You In Hell’ or ‘Black Balloon’ afterwards, then you’d probably shit a brick! ”Wow, how did that ok band release such amazing material!?” you would find yourself asking.

If you love the band and have to have everything they put out. Sure get it. If you just want to support the band and keep them on the road, get it. If you have limited funds and can only afford to buy the best, then maybe skip this particular entry in the history of the bull god. This band have released some of the best material in the genre ever, and you should start with their better material first.

CLUTCH Book Of Bad Decision

Album · 2018 · Stoner Rock
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Kingcrimsonprog
Clutch at this point can unarguably be seen as something of an ‘old reliable’ at this point. It can be argued that the band just do not release bad albums these days and pretty much if you’ve liked any of the band’s recent albums, you are probably going to like this one.

That being said, they aren’t too repetitive and they do evolve over time and each album has its own identity and each cluster of albums has a certain flavour.

The last two albums; Earth Rocker and Psychic Warfare have been two of the bands hardest, most streamlined, direct albums to date and this time the band seem aware that this may not have been what fans of the older albums like Elephant Riders and the self-titled wanted, so this time around instead of battering you over the head with the hardest songs straight away, they open up with some more laid back Stoner Rock song. Its a bit more armchair than thrill-ride for the first three tracks, for those of you who were missing the band being more hazy. Combined with the less polished, looser production style (that hi-hat sound and muddier guitar tone has something in common with their Jam Room album to my ears).

That’s not to say it is a full return to the old days; its more of a balancing act between that, the recent material and also pushing new ground. There are a few tunes on here which retain the breakneck rocking and clear focus of Earthrocker; ‘Weird Times,’ ‘Paper & Strife’ and the Tony Iommi wetdream of ‘A Good Fire’ keep things direct and punchy.

In terms of newer ideas, ‘In Walks Barbarella’ sounds exactly like its most memorable lyric ”weaponised funk” – it is full of full on 1970s Starskey & Hutch sounding funk overtones.

Lyrically, the record is just as fun and interesting as ever, with some brilliant lines, such as in the pre-released ‘How To Shake Hands’ where Neil tells us that when he becomes president, ”First thing I’m gonna do is go for a ride on a UFO, put Jimmi Hendrix on the $20 bill and Bill Hicks on a 5-note,” as well as ‘Hot Bottom Feeder’ which is basically a recipe and when the Neighbours in ‘Paper & Strife’ are reportedly ”clearly raging communists.”

The last few albums have had man-of-the-match awards for drummer JP Gaster and Frontman Neil Fallon, but the real hero of this album is guitarist Tim Sult, who seems to on a mission to display as wide a range of styles of guitar solo as possible. There’s so many different vibes to his leads and solos on the record, from melodic to flashy to effects-laiden and everything in between.

Because Clutch are so consistent, it is really just a matter of personal taste which albums are your favourites. This album is no disappointment. For my tastes, its somewhere in the middle, better than for example Jam Room but not quite as transcendent as say, the last two albums, or the fan favourites like Blast Tyrant, but fairly close and absolutely worth checking out. There are many songs on here I really can’t wait to see live and wouldn’t ever want to make a Clutch playlist or compilation without ever again. If you aren’t sure if the album is for you, check out ‘Ghoul Wrangler’ – the music, production, eccentricity and lyrics should give you a good idea what you are in for.

BLACK MOTH Anatomical Venus

Album · 2018 · Stoner Rock
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Nightfly
Having been impressed by Black Moth’s 2014 album Condemned To Hope’s blend of doom, stoner and garage rock (which showed considerable growth over their debut) I was looking forward to hear Anatomical Venus, their first in four years. It sees a line-up change with guitarist Federica Gialanze taking over from Nico Carew. She previously played in a Black Sabbath tribute band whose influences can be heard in the grooves of this latest release as they were on the last album. The title Anatomical Venus was inspired by the wax models of women created by Clementi Susini which whilst being accurate anatomical figures for medical study also unsettlingly beautified them in death.

Istra kicks things off in fine style with powerful riffing and Harriet Hyde’s authoritatively biting vocal delivery but the song also manages to introduce some light and shade which works very well. A strong start and equally good is Moonbow, a pre-album single release, with a captivating and hypnotic 6/8 time riff. They clearly like playing in 6’s as Tourmaline later in the album does too. Whilst most of the influences that made Condemned To Hope such a strong release are in place they do seem to have toned down the purer doom touches, which were never particularly prevalent anyway, with most of the album being more in the stoner metal/rock vein with the garage rock still rearing its head from time to time. Black Moth are showing a lot of maturity as songwriters too with much of the album being their strongest work to date. The only lapse into ordinariness is Buried Hoards which whilst not bad creates a momentary lull though pleasingly short lived. Songs like Severed Grace more than make up for it though. A truly remarkable, haunting and powerful song, delving into the subject of the album title.

Anatomical Venus whilst I didn’t originally think so is the bands best work so far. A few listens however soon revealed what a compelling collection of songs this is with a few clever and unexpected twists and turns and deserves to give them wider recognition and success.

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