Thunderbird Divine formed in Philadelphia in 2017 seeking to play heavy-riff-heavy head music influenced by obvious stoner, psych, and doom bands, as well as garage, acid, prog, and hard rock. Spacey, heavy, and heavily influenced by the spirit and sound of classic psychedelic rock, complete with unusual arrangements, experimentation, and instrumentation. This is contemporary stoner doom played through a kaleidoscopic lens of 60s psych trailblazing.
The Hand Of Man offers three tracks in just under 13 minutes, available as a digital download or a CD single from Salt Of The Earth Records. A neat thing to have for fans and collectors, but also a worthy introduction to a band that are onto something unique.
The title track wastes no time, coming straight in with rolling heavy riffs and a serene wail of vocal atop Hammond organ tones and fluid and expressive drumming. With real swing and energy, you’ll be just settling in to the groove before things fall back and subtle atmospherics cut through. Things rise to a great peak with dramatic guitars and glorious layered vocals.
Far out and heavy at the same time, with a defiant soulful vibe, this is simultaneously a summertime jam for playing loud and an intricately arranged hallucinogenic rumination…
Longest track on offer Boote’s Void begins by conjuring classic 90s stoner with its cosmic guitar and distant rattling vocal, before a long build-up ushers in a brooding skulk of bass and drums. Streams of synth lead to a steady groove of uplifting riffs and vocal, with the addition of layered vocal harmonies assisting the gruff soaring yells of Erik Caplan. Expressive guitar leads capture and carry before things come down again, submerged in psychoactive sound. Far out and heavy at the same time, with a defiant soulful vibe, this is simultaneously a summertime jam for playing loud and an intricately arranged hallucinogenic rumination.
Third and final track ‘88 Testadoon is a short and stripped back stint of tight and precise tribal percussion, mind expanding synth, and guitar wash – all led by prominent eastern-sounding instrumentation.
In conjunction with this release, the band recorded and mixed a cover of The Yardbirds’ Happenings Ten Years Time Ago which you can download as ‘name your price’ from their Bandcamp page. There’s a lot of significance in that choice as it represents the strong influences of a groundbreaking sound and approach.
Thunderbird Divine have the potential to take these influences and the balance they’ve struck between them and do something epic, immersive, and far out. Let’s hope they do on their next full length.
Scribed by: Josuph Price