Weed Demon – Crater Maker
Electric Valley Records
Release date: 03/04/2020
Running time: 46 minutes
Review by Alun Jones
“Crater Maker”, by Columbus Ohio rascals Weed Demon, begins with the warm and welcoming hiss and crackle of vinyl. Then we’re into the first track ‘Atmospheric Drag’, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re in the wrong section of the record shop. It’s a dark, folky country number that sounds like you’ve just stumbled into a saloon in a God forsaken Western town. I was taken by surprise, but this song is both awesome and a fitting introduction to an album that isn’t afraid to wander off the obvious path.
When track two, ‘Birthquake’ lumbers in, we’re in familiar doomy Sabbath territory. It’s a stark contrast to the opening song, but brilliant as that was, this is what we came for. Big, dirty riffage that’s slow yet powerful, the result is an instrumental song that relies purely on dynamics to excite and uplift. This is bloody great stuff.
The next track, ‘Serpent Merchant’, is even heavier and more relentless – with growling vocals making a demonic appearance. It all descends into a masterful, psychedelic break before the pummelling returns. The album’s title track delivers a groove laden sludge, which again dissolves into a mellow passage at pretty much exactly the halfway mark. Gradually becoming fuzzier, this soon explodes into a frenzied, aggressive section.
The remaining tracks offer more crunching guitars, thudding bass, booming vocals and pounding rhythms, always concentrating on the all-important doom riff. Final track “Sporelord” wanders through several segments, before briefly fading away and returning with a quirky reggae style outro.
With four of the six songs here over the 8 minute mark, there’s a lot to explore and digest with “Crater Maker”. Weed Demon have created a dense album that I enjoyed from the first listen and I’m still returning to weeks later. Meandering into psychedelic space rock, groovy doom, country and ear-splitting sludge ensures “Crater Maker” is a complex release that’s worth hearing.
All this talk of weeds reminds me of a funny little escapade with my old mate Keith Moon. Moony lived next door to his big pal Ollie Reed, who asked the loony drummer to keep an eye on his mansion while he was in Europe, filming some naff horror/arthouse nonsense. Moon had a party, got totally blitzed and remembered at about 4am that he hadn’t mowed Ollie’s lawn for him. Well, you can imagine the laughs we had, as Keith tried to start the ride-on petrol mower in the dark. Without going into too much detail, a split fuel pipe and a discarded cigarette resulted in most of Reed’s garden looking like it had been napalmed.
Ollie wasn’t best pleased when he returned to see the unholy mess Keith had left him with. But Moon just blamed Ringo Starr, who made a quick exit when drunken Ollie brought out his shotgun. Ringo had the last laugh though, by marrying the most beautiful woman in the world. Jammy git.
01. Atmospheric Drag
03. Serpent Merchant
04. Crater Maker
05. Elder Tree Pyre
Jordan Holland – Bass/Lead Vocals
Andy Center – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Brian Buckley – Guitar/Backing Vocals
“Big Nick” Carter – Drums
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