Monday, January 16, 2012

Hard Rocking - Featuring Lonely Kamel, Kamchatka, Ape Machine and Suede Brothers

Time to catch up with some discs that have been sitting way too long in the Ripple office.  This happens sometimes, damn it.  Some discs are just so good they take forever to write up.  I don't want them out of my car.  I want to listen, listen, listen.  Then, next thing you know, a whole decade has passed and I still haven't written it up.  Time to set that right.

Lonely Kamel - Blues for the Dead

Hailing from Oslo Norway Lonely Kamel is a band that does the hard edged, classic rock and blues sound from the early 70's right.   Massively deep, solid grooves, catchy hooks and instantly catchy melodies. Released in 2010, (they have a new album out right now) Blues for the Dead mixes a spice cabinet full of Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Sabbath into some mighty fine retro-groove rock.

"A Tale of a Madman" is as heavy and frightening you'd hope.  "Green Eyed Woman" is a full on, Hendrix corker.  "Wasted Time" (one of my favorite cuts) rumbles and rolls upon the spine of some freaky bass work before exploding in an orgy of killer guitar and riffs.   "Stick with Your Plan" lays down some thunderous doom, while "Lady Mushroom" heads down the psychedelic Hendrix highway that you'd expect by the title.  And what a fucking chorus!

I only got this album last year, so it couldn't make my Top 10 list for 2011, but damn, if I'd heard this in 2010, it woulda been there.  Seriously killer stuff all the way through.


Kamchatka - Bury Your Roots

I'm not unbiased.  I'm not a dispassionate, removed critic.  I love music and love writing about the music I love.  And I love Kamchatka.

Their last album III jumped into my Top 10 list the year it was released, and Bury Your Roots followed like a laser shot, aiming right into my Top 10 for 2011.

Kamchatka play hyped up, retro-blues, fuzzed out 70's rock like so many bands these days, but everything they do is just one step beyond.  Riffs are just a tad bigger, melodies catchier, grooves . . .well . . groovier.  And Kamchatka aren't afraid to explore away from the standard blues riff and delve into the world of progressive rock.  And they bring those elements in seamlessly.

Once more, on their fourth album Bury Your Roots, we find Sweden's Kamchatka pounding out heavier melodic blues-laced rock.  But if anything, Bury Your Roots finds the boys plowing even more progressive highways than they did on III.   The guitar work throughout can only be described as ambitious, arrangements are more complex without being cluttered, vocals are textured and clean. Most importantly,  Bury Your Roots is rooted in authenticity and passion.  Highlights are too numerous to mention.  Suffice it to say, Bury Your Roots is an amazing album for retro-rock fans from start to finish.

Ape Machine - War to Head

Did I say I'm not dispassionate?  I meant it, and Ape Machine are another band I just can't be neutral about.  When I first heard that War to Head was coming (and I'd been privy to some very early mixes months ago) I just went ahead and set aside a spot in my Top 10 for 2011 for the boys.  They were gonna have to really screw up to get knocked out.

Suffice it to say, they didn't screw up.  War to Head is everything that I love about Ape Machine.  Hooks the size of wrecking balls smashing down upon my helpless skull in a furious retro-70's assault.  Great vocals, emotive and clean, and definitely "of the day" to be blowing out retro-blues, and an adventurous soul.

On War to Head, Ape Machine take a little more time than they did on their debut, This House Has Been Condemned.  They allow a little more air to breathe into the mix, explore a tad more progressive pathways while never taking their foot off the Zeppelin-blues gas pedal.  The guitar work is absolutely sizzling, and I love the growing progressive/psychedelic influences.  Just take one listen to the mid-tempo terror of "The Sun."  One listen.  Just one.  Then I dare you not to hit the play button again, and again.  Searing guitar hooks, monstrous riffs, changing arrangements, smoky psychedelia.  Amazing stuff.

Check War to Head without second thoughts!

Suede Brothers - The Night

Damn me!  Damn me!  Damn me!

This is an open letter to guitarist/vocalist Dylan Francis, bassist Kevin Naughton and drummer Mike Varga.  Hate me.  Kick me.  Say bad things about my body odor.  I deserve it.  All of it.  I'll plead insanity.  I'll plead a parasitic infection.  I'll plead abduction by aliens that violated me in ways that I've yet to find the words to describe.

How else can I explain letting this disc sit for so long on my Ripple desk?  I don't even know how long it's been there.  A year?  A century?  The Night came out in 2010, so hopefully it hasn't been a full two years.  But it might've been.  And for that, I'm truly sorry.  Let's make amends.

Akron trio, Suede Brothers, third release, The Night, is exactly the type of album that the Ripple Effect was created for.  A killer release by a hard-working, authentic, hard-driving rock n roll band, that for some reason the buzz hasn't been building fast enough.  I placed this review in this column with Lonely Kamel, Kamchatka, and Ape Machine for a reason.  If these bands appeal to your inner musical mojo, then you gotta check out Suede Brothers.  These guys kill!

On The Night, the riffs are a bit heavier, the music less progressive, the gun barrel aimed a bit more directly at your heart than the other bands, but it's still one killer big riff, retro-70's blast.  Dylan's voice runs towards the Geddy Lee end of the singing range which works perfectly for these songs.  His guitar playing is never flashy, but solid and Kevin and Mike must hate everything about you to pound you in the face so hard with their rhythm assault.  And it all works.  Perfectly.

The guys call themself, Rust Belt rock and roll.  And I won't argue.  They're hard like steel.  The punish like a foundry.  Their rust is poisonous and dangerous.  Straight ahead, no bullshit rock n roll.  And it's all done right.  Check it.


1 comment:

A Fan said...

Glad to see The Suede Brothers get some well deserved recognition, long overdue in my opinion! :D

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