Kingston, New York’s immense, stoner, and heavy blues trio Geezer made quite an impact with 2020’s Groovy. The re-vamped lineup’s first release for Heavy Psych Sounds, and fifth overall, served as a sonic elixir in the shit-show that was the summer of 2020, the record was a massive, grooving, crush-fest that wound up on many a year-end, best-of list.
After simmering for the last two years through the pandemic, Geezer are back with the massive Stoned Blues Machine. Taking everything that worked so well on Groovy, and expanding it, Stoned Blues Machine is a monster from the second opener Atomic Moronic rumbles out of the speakers as, guitarist, vocalist, and last founding member Pat Harrington once again demonstrate that he’s achieved wizard-status at conjuring the grooviest of riffs, and melding it with his gruff, yet melodic and catchy vocals. His delivery on the cowbell and tambourine-infused shakedown of Atomic Moronic’s chorus ‘ohh, ignorance is sacred, ohh, crucify the truth’ is both catchy as-hell, and biting-as-hell, ripping on the current mindset of a large percentage of the American population with truth, wit, and gruff melody.
Crush-fest, groove-stomper Logan’s Run opens with a pounding fill from drummer Steve Markota, before Harrington’s immediately head-banging, dunga-dunga-dunga-dunga riff introduces the body of the song, whilst bassist Richie Touseull’s slithery, groovy, basslines, and Markota‘s wallop carry the rhythm. Geezer break into a nice dynamic on the outro, before weaving around to the main riff. Two songs in, and I’m sucked back into Geezer’s grooving, heavy, sonic portal.
The mood, energy and tempo continue throughout A Cold Black Heart with Harrington once again displaying his ability to meld a heavy-ass hook with his groovy, bluesy, riffage. Geezer practically define themselves with the title track Stoned Blues Machine, a colossal, thudding, spacey, riff-monster as Harrington again waxes on the state of the USA, a theme running through a lot of Stoned Blues Machine, lamenting on wanting to get stoned and get away from it all, the vibe accentuated with sputtering-engine sounds mixed in for maximum stoner bliss. Broken Glass ups the tempo, proffering a straightforward heavy riff-rocker, yet mixes in some killer, T-Rex-ish handclaps for maximum catchiness.
massive riffs, killer lyrics, and melodic, yet gruff, soaring choruses…
Eleven suggests the listener to ‘break out the weed and riff, a turntable and a big, fat, spliff’ is one all needs, cranking it to ‘eleven’, the obvious nod to Spinal Tap. Saviours is the centerpiece of Stoned Blues Machine to my ears. An awesome, melodic slow build commences, complete with a killer, restrained snare work from Markota, before Harrington’s rocking, catchy-as-hell chorus explodes into reality. Saviours is for me the best track on the album, showcasing all of what Geezer does best, the groove, the walloping rhythm, and of course wizard-Harrington‘s massive riffs, killer lyrics, and melodic, yet gruff, soaring choruses.
The Diamond Rain Of Saturn initially teases being a mellower closer, but that’s before Markota‘s pounding drums jar us back to Geezer‘s realm. The Diamond Rain Of Saturn is a spacey-er affair, but the handclaps, and tambourines are revisited, almost giving it a heavy garage rock vibe, but that dissipates quickly under a rain of Markota’s cymbals, to say nothing of Harrington’s massive, crawling riff. However, Geezer do wind up veering into trippy, cosmic territory, and get lost in their own sonic nebula, complete with some swirly effects and a touch of organ, before re-emerging on the other side, rocking on the way out.
Geezer get compared to Wo Fat a fair amount, and that’s reasonable, as Kent Stump is a wizard himself, sharing many of Harrington’s skills. I do feel Geezer are most certainly their own band, clearly, they have their own sound, and they carry an east coast grit and swagger, that is a different energy from Wo Fat, to say nothing of Harrington‘s uncanny ability at writing utterly catchy choruses. They both do however dwell in a specific, massive, grooving, riff-universe, and they both have now dropped records within a month of each other, first Wo Fat‘s The Singularity and now Geezer’s Stoned Blues Machine that will most certainly wind up on many year-ends, best-of lists again.
Scribed by: Martin Williams