A couple of thoughts right off the bat (other than what an outstanding name Telekinetic Yeti is for a stoner rock band), when absorbing Primordial, the second release from Dubuque, Iowariff-crushing duo Telekinetic Yeti is just what an absolute rager this record is, and just how unapologetically ‘stoner rock’ this album is. I mean this thing is colossal from the moment the massive, marching riff of the title track Primordial erupts out of the speakers. Guitarist/vocalist Alex Baumann’s huge riffing, and lead squalls form a wall of sound as drummer Rockwel Heim’s heavy, bashing beat announces there shall be zero fucking around.
Primordial severs as the great awakening to this record, as well as a great re-awakening for Telekinetic Yeti, as it’s been five years since their debut Abominable. Additionally, in the years since, Heim replaced founding drummer Anthony Dreyer, the band re-booted, signing to Tee Pee Records, and recruited former Kylesa vocalist/guitarist Phillip Cope to produce Primordial. These changes are felt aurally from the jump as the title track blows the album wide open. But we’re just getting started as the massive, pounding riff of Ancient Nug batters the listener’s earholes. Telekinetic Yeti aren’t just proffering in riff-hypnosis as before we know it, Ancient Nug veers into catchy, rock & roll, head-banging, late ‘90s stoner rock riffing territory, before Baumann brings the hammer down on the main riff.
Lest the listener catch their breath, Ghost Train Haze opens with some mighty stoner and doom riffage, before descending into another totally catchy, totally heavy, riffing monster. Heim’s drumming propels Ghost Train Haze, allowing Bauman to riff/space-out to his heart’s content as he delivers his bouncing lyrics, and crushing, catchy riffing, while extolling the virtues of one of Telekinetic Yeti’s undoubtedly favorite strains.
The following cut, the aptly named heavy, lumbering and spacey instrumental Stoned Ape Theory, and late-album ripper Smoke Wizard emphasize the ‘stoner’ in ‘stoner rock’ as four of the opening seven tracks wax on the bands love of cannabis to say nothing of the monster riffage. However, Telekinetic Yeti didn’t just make an album comprised of total weed-riff-worship as Beast, with its killer, nodding main riff allows Bauman to dip into his seemingly never-ending riff-suitcase and showcase his distorted yet melodic vocals. Heim, not content to sit back and be pummeled by Bauman’s riffs, propels Beast with an endless barrage of rolls, fills, and bashing, especially as the song veers into a slightly progressive turn, as it winds its way to its conclusion.
when something is this heavy, this good, with just two dudes, praise must be bestowed…
Telekinetic Yeti keep the pedal to the proverbial metal with the enormous, crushing-yet-soaring Rogue Planet, and the immense riff monster that is Tides Of Change. Invention of Fire is a heaving, lurching, stoner-instrumental, featuring as many twists and turns as it does Bauman riffs. Closer, Cult Of Yeti, sums up the bands mission statement pretty well, as another torrent of Bauman-riffs and Heim-pummeling unfurls throughout that song as Bauman proclaims ‘you will never scale these mountains’, and who am I to argue as every time I’ve spun this monster, I’ve had to pick my jaw up off the floor.
Though sounding completely like themselves, Telekinetic Yeti’s sonic equivalents can be heard throughout with hints of Sleep, Yob, and even Monolord sprinkled throughout Primordial.
And, all l this from a duo? I’ve always held rock & roll duos in high regard, but when something is this heavy, this good, with just two dudes, praise must be bestowed. Primordial throws fire all over the joint, from Bauman’s riffs, songwriting, and overall tone and sound, to Heim’s killer, rolling and pummeling drumming, and Cope’s production, Primordial sounds massive, all the way around.
This is the complete package in ‘stoner rock’ from the songs, the production, the song titles, the band name itself, to the album artwork. It doesn’t get much heavier, nor more ‘stoner’ than Primordial. Abominable was an excellent debut, but Telekinetic Yeti have made a stratospheric leap with Primordial, as this record will easily land on many year-end best-of lists. Highly recommended.
Scribed by: Martin Williams