Jam band! Two words that really should strike fear into the hearts of most self respecting music fan. It brings to mind painful images of a bunch of middle aged acid casualties noodling away in some ego massaging Grateful Dead style wank off for hours!!! When this arrived and turned out to be entirely instrumental with two tracks that run 14 and 12 minutes apiece my heart sank and it was with some trepidation that I hit play. I needn’t have worried as this is far from being the gratuitous display of public masturbation that I initially expected. Instead this is a band of three accomplished musicians who lock in together and use the jam format to create some lush and expansive psychedelic blues rock.
Opening track “Wave” is the more restrained of the two on offer here. As you would expect, verses and choruses have been dispensed with in favour of a melodic ebb and flow that the title suggests. Brenn’s guitar is clearly the lead instrument here but rather than indulge in some unsightly cock waving the playing is suitably understated allowing the track to ride along on a mellow Hendrix style riff that builds and drops. When the lead playing does kick in it’s never at the expense of the tune and is held tightly in place by Hera’s simple and effective drumming and Jess’s inventive bass playing.
Track two, “Mystic Initiation” is my clear favourite here displaying a greater diversity not to mention being the heavier of the two tunes. This builds on a fuzzed up riff that wouldn’t be out of place on a Clutch or Monster Magnet album but still retains the smoked out groove as typified by the first track. As with “Wave” there is clearly a place for everything and everything is in its place.
This release does beg the question “what is stoner rock?”. Is it a bunch of hairy dudes cranking out fuzzed up riffs and singing about the desert and fast cars or is it a band like The:Egocentrics who create a blissed out weaving network of grooves and melodies that would sound best slumped on a bean bag on the floor with a few candles and a massive bong.
This clearly won’t be everyone’s bowl of weed but if you want to roll yourself a fat one and go on a bit of a musical trip then check it out.
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Ollie Stygall