Monday, February 1, 2016
4ONE8 Records Triple Play
We get a ton of promo albums coming through Ripple headquarters as most of you are well aware of. We try our best to listen to as many of them as we can, and our President, Racer, does in fact listen to them all. I do not listen to every one as I don’t have the time, but I do base a lot of it off tags and RIYLs given out from the promoter’s and/or bands themselves. In today’s case it was a win-win. 4ONE8 RECORDS a division of PRC Music sent over a slug of singles by various bands with the tags of “Zeppelin” “Graveyard” “Hawkwind” “Pentagram” with their slogan “Hard Hitting Distorted Blues Heavy Rock”. Now I get a little excited anytime I see those words in combination. Further investigation led to the FREE promo compilation which is available here, and upon sampling I requested the full albums for further investigation. Boy oh boy was I pleased. Below you’ll find a quick review of 3 bands sent over. I had heard of all the bands except for Electric Hoodoo, which was the one who blew my mind the most.
Electric Hoodoo walk into the room in the same fashion as Jim Morrison waking up from an acid induced snake ride through desert portals to their home town of Dresden, Germany.... Eerie retro blues cast by distorted fuzz and spaghetti western flair intoxicate the listener into a state of bewilderment. Vocals erupt with passionate cries like a bastard child of Robert Plant and Magnus Pelander (Witchcraft) while the bewitching riffs swirl like smoke diving through the holes in walls at the hole in the wall dive bar. Steeped with southern stoner swagger and inbred with bluesy boogie galore, Electric Hoodoo shock the initial impression radar and zaps their way into the forefront of the occult retro heavy blues scene. FFO Year Long Disaster and Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus, as well as the aforementioned Zeppelin and Graveyard, Electric Hoodoo is sure to please. Apparently this was released in the fall of 2015 on their band page stating the album as their final farewell album. Check it out.
I had heard Saturna before and the name definitely rang a happy bell, but it’s been awhile and I forgot how smooth their delivery comes across. The new self-titled album is due out in early March on PRC Music. The retro heaviness oozes with a RAWK n roll edge as the previous outputs alluded to as well. Not unlike Electric Hoodoo, the sultry swagger of the vocals is what sets Saturna apart from their everyday underground stoner/doom compadre. Conviction rings true on every note of the dynamite riffs rumbling like an avalanche pummeling tree tops in a canyon of groove. The fuzzy licks vibrate like a rabbit on a bender and the vocals cry like a bachelor at a whorehouse. Either way you dice it the chemistry of the band composes a well concocted blend of heavy grooves and melodic harmonies that are hard to deny. Be on the lookout for the new one and in the meantime seek out their early material as well for a prequel to the intoxicating heavy modern occult blues rock on display.
Merlin – Electric Children
Last but not least on my list of recommendations on this fine distribution label is the brand spanking new album ‘Electric Children’ by the one and only Merlin. Many die hard heavy heads have been foaming at the mouth over Merlin’s previous output including the insane vinyl packages released on Poisoned Mind Records late last year. I was lucky enough to score the “Gallows” edition, which sold out fast. When you go online and notice every item of the past output is SOLD OUT, you know something special is on the cusp. The new one is definitely on its own terms as compared to the two albums mentioned above. Electric Children is an electrifying concoction of sinister riffage circulating like hell in orbit around a demented planet overgrown with magic mushrooms. The last song alone, ‘Tales of Wasteland’ is worth the price of admission alone, raging in at 23 minutes in length easily occupying its own side on a 33rpm disc of wax. The price for admission will be unveiled on March 11th, 2016 via 4ONE8 Records for CD and Poisoned Mind Records on vinyl. Be prepared because the occult vinyl ambassadors are already setting their alarm clocks for the sale on what is hyped to be one of the most elite record sales of the year. After having the chance to listen to the album, I can say in confidence that there is little chance for letdowns. ‘Electric Children’ will jump start the brain dead and mummify the living with the murmuring howls of witchery, powerhouse psychedelics and occult laced theatrics spaced out with mind numbing fuzz.