Vultures is the second full length release by psychedelic stoner metallers from Greece; 1000 Mods. It’s a flashback. For fans of late 60’s wah-wah induced psychedelia, this is for you. For fans of basic, stripped down, nuthin’-fancy rock and roll, this is for you…better yet, if you like all that mixed in with modern metal, I would give this a listen, it’s probably going to be up your alley. To tell the truth, I dug it.
First off, there’s the song Claws which starts out with a prominent bass line very reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive, a promise that this slab of music has something. It starts out that way. Quickly, however, it veers a bit off into MC5 territory; yelling vox, chanting, with the shouting “cookie monster” sort of vocals exploding for the last lines of the chorus. The song grooves you into a steady expected rock and roll/metal song; then, however, the band shifts down to first gear, almost stalling the engine as the song pumps along attempting to enlist itself into the “progressive” category; enlisting many tempo changes. Does it well, I might add. Atop that, wah-wah guitars float, bringing it all to a conclusion.
The second song, Big Beautiful hits you across the head with a buh-lay-tent nod to the classic, memorable riff from Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love. With not even the slightest attempt to hide that fact, I would have to guess it’s a tribute and an intended foreshadowing of what the albums all about: metal, but psychedelic and stonerized.
Slow, slow, slowly the third song, She, downshifts the album into a slow dirge; metal and bluesy. This is the song that the nagging wonder of “who the fuck does this vocalist sound like” that had struck me from the beginning finally answered itself. It hit me…Pepper Keenan, of Corrosion of Conformity fame. 1000 Mods’ Dani’s vocal style is a dead ringer. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing or that it’s a good thing, but just is. A ways in, after a few complaints about She, the anguished screaming vox relinquishes and a lengthy guitar solo, layered and overdubbed with multiple guitar bits, takes us out to the end.
For the fourth, they lay Horses’ Green on us. The bass starts it off, guitar minimally highlighting the rhythm set up by the Labros, the drummer and Dani’s bass. This is then mingled with a low, almost whispering, chant of vocals. Anger seems just out of reach here as the lyrics slowly remind, Dani I assume, of a frustration. As soon as it begins, it seems, the song fades out, hopefully resolving the emotion.
Low is the next song and is introduced by a slowly loudening drum tempo coupled with the familiar almost whispering vocal chant. The guitar then takes over the lead and brings the song into a meaner, faster exercise. Bass is too notably absent and I can’t figure out why. Sure, it achieves that stripped down sound, but personally I believe the bass could have elevated this song up to a more full statement. However, a hallmark it seems of 1000 Mods, Giannis’ and George’s guitars takes over at some point, wailing their wails in the forefront all the way to the end.
Again, the album slow, slow, slows down. Vultures the song is the sixth entry. Here again, simplicity shines as the drums and bass keep a steady, minimalistic beat with the guitars acting basically as an exclamation point at the end of the verses. Almost whispering, this recurring aspect of 1000 Mods’ vocal style slowly pleads its case as it seems on the brink of going mad (hinted at by Giannis’ and George’s guitar). If you’re rooting for the madness to occur, you’re in luck. The slow, steady rhythm is left in the dust as the song takes off and breaks free into a heartfelt crescendo of resolution; driven and led by some nice wah-wah; floating, surfing overhead and out.
Modesty is an up-tempo song refreshing the scene (, man-far out). Here we have an OK, nothing special sort of song constructed by your basic verse, chorus, solo, verse, etc. tradition. Reverb Of The New World completes the album. The longest song of the batch, a soliloquy in the Vincent Price tradition prefaces the piece with a narration voicing the objective of the song’s tale; that of a race of people (we) that are yearning to “take off” into the cosmos that “we’ve” been standing on the brink of. More Interstellar Overdrive inspired progressions continue here to build the song’s foundation. We’re contemplating, contemplating until…blast off! We’re fueled into the cosmos with the aid of Giannis’ and George’s guitars. Here is some really nice, competent, effect-laden guitar work. A kind of “space-jam” sequences the verses and we’re done.
My first introduction to 1000 Mods, Vultures is genuinely a very good listen. Of course, it’s not unprecedented music, but for a fan of stoner, psychedelic, basic, stripped-down metal, you’ve got some right here. I’d say go ahead and give it a listen. Most importantly, if you do, buy the thing. Try your hardest not to pirate it. I’m pretty sure 1000 Mods needs support, especially from those that dig what they’re doing.
Scribed by: Brian Burroughs