Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit

Smooth Orbit Cover

Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit
Self-Released
Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 51:00
Review by: Alun Jones
9.5/10

“Have a listen to Spacetrucker, I think you’ll like them!” came the recommendation from Rick at Ever Metal HQ. So I did. And he was right – the “Smooth Orbit” album is one of the most exciting listens I’ve had for a long, long time.

These psychedelic space monkeys have created a superb Stoner Rock classic that’s right up my space lane. Throw in some fuzzy Grunge and Classic Rock and Spacetrucker have achieved the almost impossible: put a huge, acid-warped grin on my ancient, grumbly mug.

First track ‘Sample Of A Sample’ warms the jets up nicely for take-off with a trippy lead and some bongos. Yes, bongos! Past the two-minute mark it erupts into a face-melter of a riff that had my cranium nodding like an Easter Island statue after some herbal refreshment.

Mike Owen (guitar/vocals), Rob Wagoner (bass/vocals) and Del Toro (drums) seem to be able to magically conjure up the grooves with uncanny ease. ‘Meat Wagon’ is another brilliant track with a pulsating, infectious riff.

In true lazy journo style (hey, I’ve had a few), Spacetrucker combine the stoner slouch of Fu Manchu and early QOTSA with classic Sabbath and Purple, mixing in some Mudhoney and Melvins fuzzy sludge on the way. Perfect, in other words. If any of those bands get your hyper drive firing, this is for you.

There are some Iommi-esque shorter numbers and experimental sounds that add a further dimension to the proceedings, constantly keeping the listener on their toes. ‘Vanishing Point, Science of Us’ has an almost Nirvana Unplugged vibe before bursting into a crushing rocker. This is followed by another monster riff with ‘Pulling Teeth’.

Plus the final track, ‘Lost In The Sauce’, is over ten minutes long! An extended jam floats in and builds beautifully, never rushing but enticing the listener along on every step…!

This might not be the most critical review I’ve composed, but I don’t care. “Smooth Orbit” is a triumph of an album and I love it. The only reason it didn’t get ten out of ten is it needs more references to skateboards and 1970’s muscle cars. Other than that, I need a vinyl version, please?

If any of the above references to sub-genre labels and other bands resonates with you, I urge you do a Boba Fett and track this album down now.

All of this “space trucking” talk reminds me my days working with Deep Purple back in the early seventies. I was working as the band’s roadie/driver when one time, in the middle of the night in the Arizona desert, we got a flat. I left the Purps partying in the back whilst I went out in to the freezing, dusty highway to change the tyre. I was distracted for a moment, and I swear blind that I saw several lights zipping about in the sky at unbelievable speeds. “UFOs!” I thought.

I rushed back onto the bus and dragged the band out to take look (all except Roger Glover, who was busy knitting). Except when we got outside, the lights had vanished. The Purps weren’t amused and blamed it on me overindulging in peyote. Gillan was very gentlemanly about it all and even gave me a hand with the tyre. Blackmore had a tantrum about the delay and docked me a day’s pay. The bastard!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sample Of A Sample
02. Not As Hung
03. Breach
04. Meat Wagon
05. Fuck Up
06. Hotbox Airlock
07. Cat March
09. Vanishing Point
10. Lost In The Sauce

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/spctrckr/
https://www.instagram.com/spctrckr/
https://spctrckr.bandcamp.com/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Stew – Hot EP

Hot EP Cover

Stew – Hot EP
Unsigned
Release Date: 01/06/2018
Running Time: 17:13
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Have you ever had that warm, fuzzy feeling of bliss and contentment when you stick a CD on and straight away it reminds you of times gone past? Yes? Well, that’s exactly the feeling I got when I started playing this new EP from Swedish band Stew. I didn’t really know what to expect as, once again, I hadn’t read the notes that came with the EP, but I was (very) pleasantly surprised.

Stew hail from Lindesberg / Ӧrebro in Sweden, forming in early 2017 and are made up of the power trio of Markus Asland on bass and vocals, Nicklas Jansson on guitar and Nicklas Dahlgren on drums. The music they play is a mix of classic rock, blues and soul, heavily influenced by the late 60’s and 70’s era.

The bands notes state that they play a “gritty and nostalgic fusion of classic rock and blues inspirations” and they are not wrong! You could almost have been transported back four decades as soon as this EP kicks in with the track ‘Might Be Keeping You’, which, by the way was picked for Classic Rock Magazine’s Best Of The Year in 2018!!

And Classic Rock, themselves, couldn’t have summed it up any better if they had tried; “spewing embers of psychedelic wonder, Stew emerged from Sweden this year with an album so far out that half of us still haven’t come back. This track is a highlight, a deep, rumbling ode to the days when metal was acid-rock and life was consistently wild.”

With groovy riffs, strong vocals (love this guy’s voice!) and swinging drums this is classic yet with a modern twist. With a little bit of blues, a little bit of rock and killer guitars, these guys have nailed the sound of the 60’s / 70’s with true musicianship.

With influences stated by the band including the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Free, Deep Purple, Grandfunk Railroad, Buddy Miles, Rory Gallagher and Spooky Tooth, these guys wouldn’t have been out of place at the great Woodstock Festival in 1969.

Despite only being around for just about two years, this band sounds like it is a seasoned veteran of the 60’s and 70’s and have decided to get back together for a reunion tour, playing all their old hits.

I loved this EP from the very moment it started and the only gripe I have with it is that’s it’s just not long enough! Just as I am really getting into it, it finishes. So, my next comment would be, I am REALLY looking forward to an album when one is done. I think that would be on my play list for a very long time to come!

The only other thing I can comment on about this EP and band is the fact that they are unsigned! Why these guys haven’t been snapped up by a record company is beyond me, but I hope they are very soon. With a little bit of support, Stew could really go places!!

TRACKLISTING:
1 Might Be Keeping You
2 If This Will Be
3 Tongue Tied
4 Dig For Gold

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://twitter.com/Stew13434878
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band/
https://stew1.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh6gQxEftIRnjg_nxDmThwQ

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

 

1968 – Ballads of the Godless

Ballads Of The Godless Cover

1968 – BALLADS OF THE GODLESS
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 38:24
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Sometimes, without warning, it all comes flooding back and I’m thrust into the nightmare of that jungle. Thirty days on patrol with no chopper cover. The heat, unbearable; sweat running in rivers down my spine. Cradling my M16 like a good luck charm, praying under my breath that there ain’t no VC gonna unload a torrent of lead at me and my buddies. Trudging on, hour after hour, waiting to get back to the LZ for evac. Chukka-chukka-chukka, the Hueys overhead and the rush of wind from the blades.
Maybe these guys from 1968 were in Nam too. Maybe this debut album, “Ballads of the Godless” is actually a lost relic from those days that’s just been unearthed. Maybe 1968 invented heavy, psychedelic rock after hearing Hendrix and Cream and some of those old blues guys. Certainly seems crazy enough to be true.

Opening with “Devilswine”, 1968 lay out their ground plan confidently. It’s a mighty power groove that makes your head nod, setting the tone for the whole album. “Screaming Sun” follows and adds a more psychedelic shine, Jimi Coppack’s vocals soaring while the riffs hammer. “Temple of the Acid Wolf” adds further intricate detail, with shades of vintage Soundgarden. 1968 set about laying waste to all in its sights like Ozzy manning the Air Cav machine gun on a strafing run.

It’s not all Ride of the Valkyries mayhem however. Last track on Side 1 (vinyl lovers!), “S.J.D.” is an instrumental that provides a more reflective tone. Acoustic guitar and piano feature, in a stylistically fine salute to the classics of the genre.

This bleeds nicely into Side 2, track 1 – “Chemtrail Blues”, where guitarist Sam Orr gets chance to unleash Hendrixian guitar flourishes over a bluesy beat. It’s like that time me and my buddy chewed acid in a fox hole while under fire. The rocket traces in the sky lit up like God’s neon veins.

“McQueen” opens with some infectious bass, before melting out of a mellow vibe and into a crushing chorus. The bottom end is nice and heavy throughout, The Bear delivering pummelling yet warm playing.

Rhythms are also tight and show a groove more contagious than jungle malaria. Dan Amati on drums shines on “The Hunted” in particular. Final track “Mother of God” brings on a deceptively laid back, acid dripping feel as we finally get some R’n’R in Saigon.

“Ballads of the Godless” reveals more and more depth, thought and intricacy with each listen. On this first album, the band make good on a lifetime studying from the past masters. My only question is how will 1968 continue to evolve and add to their sound? I can’t wait to find out.

For now, it’s back to reality. No more choppers overhead, cries in the jungle and that oppressive, relentless heat. Until I spin “Ballads of the Godless” again…
Tracklist
01 Devilswine
02. Screaming Sun
03. Temple Of The Acidwolf
04. S.J.D.
05. Chemtrail Blues
06 McQueen
07. The Hunted
08. Mother Of God
Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/1968Band/

https://www.instagram.com/1968band/
https://1968band.bandcamp.com/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.