Helmet are a legacy band, who at over 30 years into their career– albeit with an early 2000’s hiatus– are still very much thought of as a specific, early mid-nineties era band when alternative rock was king. And for good reason, as they are a band who certainly had a huge influence with early Interscope Records such as Meantime (1992) and Betty (1994), providing a sludgy down-tuned version of the more commercial alternative styles of the time.
When your first two albums are such bonafide classics as to not only launch you to rock fame but also firmly establish your sound and style in everyone’s conscience, it can be difficult to find the space to grow amongst the weeds and weight of expectation, particularly when your third album saw some of the earnestness and depth not quite sacrificed at the altar of “the commercial gamble” (one that paid off, whether or not you choose to blame it on the Boom Boom), but tempered in exchange for slick, rock arena fillers.
With 25 studio albums under his belt after forming Uriah Heep back in 1969, Mick Box is not your average 75-year-old. While it is a travesty that Uriah Heep are left in the shadows of their contemporaries, such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple, the consistent high-quality of Uriah Heep’s albums puts them up with the aforementioned bands.
Valley Of The Sun transport us to a desert vista with their hard-hitting, classic blues rock fourth album, The Chariot (Ripple Music) The topographical downside is a straight-ahead tendency to skim the surface of the sand without revealing psychological depth or any hints at complicated thinking below.Continue reading →
With Lucifer releasing albums of a consistent style at a workman’s pace, it’s easy to overlook the underlying trajectory that’s been gradually in motion. There’s not much of those Occult Doom roots left on Lucifer IV(Century Media Records) as the band has seemingly completed their transformation from female-fronted Uncle Acid to what sounds like Karen Carpenter singing over KISS riffs. Fortunately, it’s hardly a drastic change as Johanna Sadonis’ sultry croon and the freerolling grooves remain as common denominators.Continue reading →
In 2019 things were on the up for the independent LA quartet Dirty Honey; their debut single ‘When I’m Gone’ topped the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts, they toured with Alter Bridge, Guns n Roses, and The Who and sold out their first headline tour in the first two months of 2020 but then covid reared its ugly head put life on hold. Finally things are opening up again and their debut album Dirty Honey is out, and its sound is firmly rooted in 1970s rock.
With All Them Witches recently becoming a power trio after five albums as a quartet, it’s easy to imagine that their sixth full-length would reflect a changed dynamic. But for the most part, the Nashvillians’ vision is largely undeterred on Nothing As The Ideal(New West Records). The overall runtime may be the band’s shortest to date at only forty-three minutes long, but their signature mix of Fuzz Blues, Americana, and tripped out ambiance allows for plenty of exploration. Not much has changed on the surface but there are certainly ways to show off the more straightforward approach.
South African Alternative Rock band The Amblers have returned with a new single ‘Sixteen 100 Year Olds’ via Mongrel Records. The bands lo-fi aesthetics can’t mask the primal bluesy energy and sensuality of this track. Check out the single from this exciting two-man band right now! Continue reading →
I adore being entrusted with juicy secrets, ask my Skullpals. That does not necessarily mean I am successful at keeping the aforementioned secrets, also ask my Skullpals. Being the Skullgurl, I am privy to hearing new music before the general public. Every once and while I am sent a new album and I find myself checking to see if it was sent to me by the C.I.A. or the F.B.I. because the music is so mind-blowing, it must be highly guarded national secret. Such is the case with the new album by Blacktop Mojo, Under The Sun (Self-Released) The tertiary album by the Southern Rock dynamo’s is a secret that should not be kept, cannot be kept, from the music-loving populous. Full disclosure, I jumped on the Blacktop Mojo magic carpet ride in 2014 when I was sent their debut album, and have been continuously knocked on my keister by the magnitude of talent these five Southern gents possess.Continue reading →
It’s been four years since Denver quartet Luna Sol powered onto the scene, with a certain amount of buzz around the fact that frontman Dave Angstrom had recruited former Hermano bandmate John Garcia as a guest on debut album Blood Moon (Cargo Records). Follow-up Below The Deep (Slush Fund Recordings/Cargo Records) continues the theme of the band’s self-styled “High Mountain Rock,” which incorporates variety into the Desert template.Continue reading →