Greece may be falling to pieces economically but it’s good to know that rock and roll is still alive, well and kicking out the jams!!!
1000 Mods 2009 release, the “Liquid Sleep” 7” was an impressive piece of downtuned, fuzzed up stoner doom that boasted a heavy…er…Sleep influence. On this, their debut full length album, the band are painting from a broader stoner rock palette and mixing up the sounds a little further. Sleep seem to have been ousted as the prime source of inspiration in favour of Kyuss and with that comes a greater degree of tightness, intensity and variety.
Putting this album on it comes as no surprise to learn that the man behind the band’s deep rich, bass heavy, Big Muff driven crunch is none other than Billy Anderson…the master of the bottom end. Anderson has succeeded in pushing these guys into the realm of true contenders as there is no doubt that this is a magnificent sounding album. Sound, however, is only one part of the whole deal and means nothing without the tunes to back it up. Fortunately 1000 Mods are more than capable of holding their end up here also. Granted this isn’t the most startlingly original set of songs, they all stick pretty closely to the generic stoner rock blueprint, but, given that there are only a certain number of notes available to use and a certain number of chord progressions, the band are capable of creating some pretty mighty and catchy riffs.
“Road To Burn” kicks things off in epic style with a big, open expansive sound and a fat rolling groove that barely lets up for its 8 plus minutes duration. This is the sound of Mount Olympus shaking with the sound of the Gods partying on down!!! Despite their ability to hit a massive groove, 1000 Mods really excel on the faster more ass kicking numbers such as “7 Flies” and “El Rolito” that power along huffing gasoline fumes and really hitting a beer spilling frenzy, the latter being the Mediterranean cousin of Kyuss’ “Freedom Run”
“Set You Free” shows that the band aren’t exclusively tied to straight up rock and roll displaying a syncopated rhythmic intensity that succeeds in retaining the groove whilst throwing the listener of guard. It isn’t all fuzz, however, and “Vidage” builds from a clean, understated beginning into another Herculean riff monster. Mention should be made of Danis’ vocals that are a real plus point on this album. Instead of delving into the gravel throated, whiskey soaked growl so beloved of many stoner rock bands, Danis exhibits a more classic approach to singing that hovers around the head of John Garcia and lays down some very tasty melodies.
On the downside many of the songs here would have benefitted from a little self editing. At approximately 65 minutes for 10 songs this does become something of an endurance test and certain tunes would have been more bearable had some of the more indulgent jamming been reigned in and some sections cut in half. Perhaps when you’re stoned on some fine skunk these songs don’t seem as long but when you’re behind the wheel of a car it does become tempting at times to hit the skip button to the next track when a riff is starting to outstay its welcome. The thing that saves it is the prospect of another killer riff lurking round the corner. On the upside, these guys display a real passion and fire for their music that does shine through to make this an enjoyable listen and compels you to see this through to its conclusion.
Despite not being the most original album in the universe, there are times when a good dose of simple riffing is all that you need and “Super Van Vacation” may just be the holiday you need.
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall