Sunday, February 23, 2014

Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Featurning Astralnaut and Jowls

Astralnaut - In the Gaze of Gods EP

I've been derelict in my duties.  With the Ripple Music Record Label going full-bore and Heavy Ripples Distro making big waves in the heavy rock underground, I simply haven't had enough time to devote to listening to music.  . . and writing!  With the excellent crew of Kiddies in the Pool, I know that great reviews keep coming in, but now it's my time to step back onto the diving board.  I'm gonna try and jump into that pool more often myself.  And one band I've very unjustly ignored is Astralnaut.

These cats have released a couple of pummelingly heavy, howlizter-cannon blasts to the face of fuzzed out doom-laced rock n roll.  Stoner in vibe, sludgy in vocal intensity, Astralnaut are a lot more direct and pointed than their "spacy" name might suggest.  We don't have meandering noodles of blissed out psych here.  No way, 2x4 smash to the face is more Astralnaut's style and what they do, they do with aplomb! 

In the Gaze of Gods was their last EP, released in April of 2013 and I'm digging into it because their new EP is set to be released very soon.  (also don't forget their first EP Back to the Bog from 2012--both available from the bandcamp link below).

For those of you who like your heaviness chock full of mighty riffs, enough fuzz to choke a hamster, vocals thick and ruddy yet still clean, and melodies, then you gotta check these guys out.  "Emerald Lord of Pleasure" is destroying my earphones right now, a chugging, churning rush of post-70's riff-mania, thickened stoner-heaviness, fuzzed-out solos . .  . and rock.  Tons of pure, heavy rock.  All five songs on this EP cook with the best of the heavy bands out there.

Astalnaut is definitely a band to keep your eyes (and ears) on.  They can definitely keep pace with the best of the competition out there.  New EP is set for release soon, so keep a look out.

In the meantime, dig into a mouth-watering portion of "In the Gaze of Gods" and let me know what you think.




 Jowls - Cursed 10" EP

Clear vinyl with black smoke.  Only 125 pressed from Tiny Engines.

Harkening back to 90's hardcore/noise rock, Grand Rapids, MI based Jowls blast out aggressive hard-core with a firm underbelly of sludge and heaviness.

Jowls' brand of hardcore is unabashedly aggressive but also flexes a keen sense of dynamics, sludgey breakdowns, downtuned heaviness and  even melody. And that's what captivated me.  At first, this wasn't my thing, but after giving it one final listen (everything gets listened to 3 times around here) it suddenly all coalesced.  Cursed is the sound of controlled chaos, of confidence exploding in measured amounts of brain and brawn. This is not aggression without purpose, every note here serves the whole. Every scream and every instrumental explosion.  And it's the dynamic breakdowns into those thick moments of sludge, playing against the mayhem that really caught me.

--Racer




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