Friday, December 7, 2018

Granite Waves – Blood Moon Rising

I probably first heard these songs about a year ago, and I remember being very impressed. I thanked the band for giving me a sneak preview and told them I would be happy to write a review once the CD was out, as our thing here at the Ripple Effect is to write about the stuff we love. Then life got in the way, and I had to deal with a lengthy situation that pretty much broke my heart and crushed my soul. I realized recently that to find my way back I had to do the creative things that make me happy, so what better way to get back in the saddle than to write this long overdue review.

Full disclosure, I know these guys, or at least 2 of them. That doesn't change how I feel about this release. Actually, when I heard these songs I was pumped up and proud that two dudes I know came up with music this good. Granite Waves have a very unique sound. They are definitely heavy, but you can't really call them stoner rock, or doom, or any of the other descriptors that are really easy to use. In my book that is a good thing. There is so much music out there these days that a band needs to stand out, and the best way to do that is not sound like 50 other bands. They have a swampy, sludgy groove, with maybe just a touch of grunge thrown in. What they seem to do best is take the influences and styles they like and mix all of that into something that is their own.

Bassist Ben Edwards also handles the vocals, and he's one of those guys that if you look at him, and then listen to these vocals, you'd be like, “No way that voice is coming out of that dude”. He has a very intriguing mix of things going on with his voice. Part of me hears a slight Alice In Chains vibe, yet at the same time he could be an oracle on the roadside of an ancient trading route through the desert. It really suits this music well. And he absolutely rips on the bass. I also have to mention the guitar work of John Cochran, especially his lead work. Every song obviously is its own thing, and every solo just ties in perfectly with each song. You want a little trippy, psychedelic feeling? Maybe some almost bluesy, pentatonic touches? Or do you want the ultimate shredder, one of those leads that seemingly has a thousand notes a second? Mr. Cochran delivers all of that and more and that is just another part of what draws the listener in to what these guys are doing.

Granite Waves are a trio, and they do the old school thing on this one, meaning no overdubbed rhythm guitar track during the leads. Most bands don't record live any more but it sure sounds like they could have. There are seven excellent songs here, just enough to sate your desires yet also leave you wanting more. If heavy, crushing grooves and rock solid riffs are your thing, you really should check this out. Find them on Bandcamp, give them a listen, and pick up this CD. This music deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.


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