Blues Rock

Lucid Grave – Cosmic Mountain Review

Lucid Grave – Cosmic Mountain Review

“I have recently come to the conclusion that it is sometimes a good exercise to deliberately review two records of the same genre back to back. Not to directly compare the two but to get one into the right mindset and to think about makes a great record in this particular field. And so it is that I find myself reviewing two stoner metal records in consecutive weeks. It’s lucky that I am not trying to compare them, however, as Copenhagen, Denmark’s Lucid Grave could not be more different—within the confines of stoner metal, anyway—from last week’s Holyroller.” Where the mountain meets the desert.

Paul Gilbert – ‘Twas Review

Paul Gilbert – ‘Twas Review

“As official Lore Keeper of the First Age of Metal, Steel is well acquainted with Paul Gilbert and his classic heavy metal band Racer X. Unfamiliar with either name, I was surprised to find I know his work from my junior high days of listening to Mr. Big cassettes. As a guitarist, Gilbert is a throwback to that heady era of hard rock when wheedly-wheedly was king, and few could wank a guitar to completion quite like him. ‘Twas is his holiday gift to an indifferent unsuspecting world.” Christmas cannon.

Kadabra – Ultra Review

Kadabra – Ultra Review

“I used to listen to, and enjoy, heavy psych a lot. I’m beginning to wonder, however, whether the onset of mid-life (not yet a mid-life crisis, please note —emphasis on yet) may have biologically hindered my ability to enjoy the genre. I keep picking it up for review, perhaps in the hope of recapturing some younger version of myself, and steadily continue to dole out 2.0s or 2.5s. And while a low score a day, keeps the Angry Boss Ape away, it’s not very good for the soul, you know? So, I approached Spokane, Washington’s Kabadra more in hope, than expectation, of finding something for me.” Olde world problems.

Kimono Drag Queens – Songs of Worship Review

Kimono Drag Queens – Songs of Worship Review

“I was promised sludge. That’s not what I got. Not that I love sludge or anything, but I definitely wanted to know what sludge sounded like coming from a band named Kimono Drag Queens. But no. Copper Feast Records duped me. The shade of it all. Anyway, septet Kimono Drag Queens strut onto the AMG runway regardless, hailing from Sydney and slinging some hella psychedelic blues rock.” Kimono worship.

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

Yer Metal is Olde: DOWN – NOLA

“Supergroups. That exciting moment when you learn that members of two or more bands you love are coming together to create … well, if we’re honest with ourselves, usually disappointment. It’s rare that supergroups come close to fulfilling that promise and that’s probably because they can’t. That’s not their fault – expectations are always sky high as a new group coalesces but different fans want different aspects of their favorites to be front and center in the new entity. A rare example, however, of a supergroup not just living up to the hype but downright crushing – at least for this fan – is DOWN.” OLDEA

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

Blackballed – Elephant in the Room Review

“Standing on my shelf next to other “non-metal” records, like Captain Beyond, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Waylon Jennings, Blue Öyster Cult, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, you’ll find albums from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Robert Johnson, and John Lee Hooker. Am I trying to say I’m an expert in the field? Heavens, no. But this would explain my odd selection of (typically) straight-forward, go-nowhere blues/hard rock promos for review. And here’s yet another.” Blues balls.

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Lord Buffalo – Tohu Wa Bohu Review

Tohu Wa Bohu, a Hebrew phrase found in Genesis describing the Earth as “formless and empty” before the creation of light, is the second album from this Texan quartet, and it’s chock full of earthy darkness. First track “Raziel” creaks into the world sounding like a lost track from Nick Cave and Warren EllisThe Proposition soundtrack crossed with Low Estate era 16 Horsepower.” Lost in Americana.

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

Seven Planets – Explorer Review

“Sometimes, vocals — however good they may be — detract, or at least distract, from really listening to the moods the music is conjuring. This is how I feel about, for example, the instrumental records that accompany releases from The Ocean — while I typically listen to the full version, every now and again I will put on the instrumental version and float away. While West Virginia’s Seven Planets are a very different beast from that Berlin-based collective, their brand of instrumental rock, rooted in blues and groove, also aims to carry you away.” Seven paths to Uranus.

Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River – Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue Review

Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River – Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue Review

“My taste in music is a bit scattered. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s partly due to the fact that I’ll listen happily to just about anything, but I like to live with a genre for a long time before absorbing a new one into my regular rotation. My main musical gaps feature the various branches of folk. I’ve been meaning to change that for years now, but I constantly put it off for one reason or another. When I saw a folk metal album drop in our bin, I figured, “why not start now?” Hence, Morgan Rider and the Deep Dark River‘s debut record Leviathan and the Deep Dark Blue. No expectations. No assumptions. Just me, embarking on a voyage into uncharted waters.” Swimming with the blues.

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

The Electric Mud – Burn the Ships Review

“There are still bands out there that hearken back to the loud, bluesy days of hard rock. Clutch is today’s prime example of that style, and ZZ Top is the granddaddy. Both bands love the blues, and love to boogie. You can add Floridian quartet The Electric Mud to that cadre. These guys are beer drinkers and hellraisers, and on sophomore album Burn the Ships they aim to show us all how gritty southern blues-rock should be played.” Deep South ship kicking.