Fu Manchu

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

Volcanova – Radical Waves Review

“When you see the word “Iceland” floating on the oily surface of the promo sump, your thoughts turn immediately to black metal. That’s been Iceland’s chief metal export for some time now and the scene is well regarded and expanding. You certainly wouldn’t think of that exotic locale as the home of desert stoner rock, but Volcanova is out to change that with their fuzzed out debut Radical Waves.” Smoke on the ice.

The Heavy Eyes – Love Like Machines Review

The Heavy Eyes – Love Like Machines Review

“The blues might be simple in theory – I mean, one of the first things we all learn is the 12-bar blues progression – but in practice it is a genre drenched in nuance, feel, and emotion. The technical part of the music is easy, but making it writhe with passion is anything but. It takes a different kind of skill to move people. Memphis’s The Heavy Eyes claim to infuse their version of delta blues with psychedelic fuzz and late 60s heavy rock in an attempt to bring us blissfully back to a disease-free era.” Love machines for all.

Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon Review

Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon Review

“I don’t think of desert rock as an especially active genre when it comes to innovation. Brant Bjork God knows it can be self referential to a fault, conjuring with each release the same core components of fuzzy, jammy riffs, psychedelic woo woo vibes, earth tones and a gritty dryness worthy of the California landscape that hatched it. The creative peak that launched its best known bands is easily a few decades in the rearview mirror, yet this old conversion van keeps driving the same dusty highways, pot smoke and 70’s rock worship rolling out it’s open windows.” Big empty.

Deathchant – Deathchant Review

Deathchant – Deathchant Review

“Let’s ease into 2019, shall we? After a climactic December that saw about a million Things You Might have Missed posts, nearly two dozen Top Ten(ish) lists, and a few more outstanding releases, it’s time to let our collective breath out, sit back, and strap in for what we all hope will be a stellar year for metal. And while early January might not be blessing us with any albums that will stick around until list season, there are a few that are worth digging into. Is this shorty (a mere seven songs and 30 minutes) from Los Angeles’ Deathchant one of those? If you’re into psychedelic proto-rock, with all sorts of other spices added in, then this eponymous debut just might kick-start your year.” Death the halls.

Loimann – A Voluntary Lack of Wisdom Review

Loimann – A Voluntary Lack of Wisdom Review

A Voluntary Lack of Wisdom is smothered in a dense layer of fuzz. But not the delicious tickle of a soft blanket, this is a bed of post-doom fiberglass. Italian three-piece metallers Loimann release this—their third full length—touting it as being more in your face and featuring less complex songwriting than prior efforts. Formed in 2001, it seems a change of direction was in order for this album. Keyboards have been dropped altogether and the harsh vocal quotient has been increased in an effort to provide a more extreme overall result.” Fiberglass-core.

Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit Review

Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit Review

“In recent times, we’ve had several naked space ladies adorning stoner covers, one of them cuddling an astronaut that reappeared on a third, more psychedelic interpretation. Spacetrucker pay homage to Deep Purple with their name, their favorite weed-smoking mood with album title Smooth Orbit, and a curious combination of Scooby Doo and the far reaches of the cosmos with their album art. Let’s find out whether their music is as dank as their kush.” Cruising the stars in a mystery van.

Mr. Plow – Maintain Radio Silence Review

Mr. Plow – Maintain Radio Silence Review

“There could be a multitude of reasons why it happen, but very rarely is it a good sign when an artistic piece gets delayed. Whether it’s a movie you’ve been wanting to see for ages or a game that you’ve had reserved for nearly three years, when you anticipate something and it gets pushed back time and again, you go from being anxious about it to worrying. But sometimes the exact opposite happens. Case in point: Maintain Radio Silence, the first album in 12 years from Houston rockers Mr. Plow.” Mr. Plow, that’s their name.

Realms of Vision – Through All Unknown Review

Realms of Vision – Through All Unknown Review

“Archetypes of Californian stoner Fu Manchu have inspired a ton of followers. After all, the lighthearted, straightforward fuzz rockers have a style that does well on any stage, in any form, and is easily duplicated even by less experienced musicians. But picture a saloon full of personifications of these fun-loving cowboys. Imagine them laughing, drinking beer and playing cards in good nature. Then a silence falls as the door swings open. A gruff figure in the opening, clad in black, eyes the room wearily, a crumpled cigarette protruding from dry lips in a scarred and stubbled face. The silence holds as he approaches the bar and orders a whiskey in a dark-brown voice. That fellow is Realms of Vision, a new face in town, armed with an eight-pounder called Through All Unknown.” Riff slingers and hell raisers.

Blackwülf – Sinister Sides Review

Blackwülf – Sinister Sides Review

“Ah, the sun-scorched desert of California. The birthplace of stoner metal with the rise ofKyuss, the arid plains are infertile for all but rocking grooves and fat riffs. Though the movement spread worldwide, including the current stoner peak in Sweden, there’s still something about bands rising from the original dustpan. Blackwülf are attempting the same with their catchy brand of accessible stoner, judging by their sophomore full-length Sinister Sides.” Desert riffs and fuzzy gifts.