1970s style heavy metal on killer debut album by Scarecrow

Scarecrow’s debut album was released on September 13th

A band’s physical location often will influence their sound. One example is how Black Sabbath channeled the energy of the dark and smoky streets of industrial Birmingham, England into some of the slowest and heaviest music of all time. In a similar way, Russian band, Scarecrow, channels the feeling of their home city of Perm. What is this place like? To paraphrase the words of the band, “Perm stands among dank swamps and impenetrable forests, at the foot of the oldest mountains in the world. This is a hopeless place: the region is full of prisons and prison camps. There is a huge number of mentally ill people. The climate is harsh. Winter lasts from October to May and it is a dark, cold time. In the warm months, it rains constantly.” All of these elements and feelings translate to a sense of doom and foreboding latent within the fabric of the band’s compositions.

The trio produces classic-sounding heavy metal, like a cross between Zeppelin and Sabbath, with high flying vocals, crunchy guitar riffs, and a powerful rhythm section. Their debut self-titled album was released on September 13, 2019. The album follows the band’s previous release, an EP called Nosferatu. The bass, drums, guitars, and vocals were all recorded in analog format and digitally mixed by Samuel Turbitt at Ritual Sounds in the UK. The band also added several elements that profoundly affect the feel of the album. Harmonica on several tracks reinforces the bluesy feel of early Sabbath and Zeppelin. Other instruments used include the flute as well as the tamburin, shaker and darbukas which the band obtained from travels to South Africa, adding even more complex textures to their music. There’s also a dark, occult quality to the album, reinforced by the addition of orchestrated sections, which the band was able to add from recordings in the high-quality digital libraries of AIR Studios in London. The intriguing artwork for the album, like the point of view of a scarecrow, was created by Igor Odintsov.

1. Scarecrow Overture 4:38
2. The Journey 5:00
3. The Final Problem 5:21
4. When The Powers Of Evil Are Exalted 3:36
5. Worm of Anger 2:47
6. Autumn Wood 3:06
7. Madman 5:15
8. Scarecrow 6:22

The album has a dark feel, which is strongly influenced by the lyrics. The high-flying vocals come across like a mixture between Geddy Lee and Ozzy Osbourne, summoning feelings of foggy, haunted moors, terrifying scenes of depravity, and maniacs losing grasp of their reality. Occasionally however, the heavy gloom is interrupted by moments of soft repose, like brief rays of sunlight shining through clouds on a stormy day.

The guitars are diverse, laying down bluesy, crunchy riffs, blazing guitar leads, and occasional clean, jazzy tones. Underneath, the rhythm section grooves like a juggernaut. The drums constantly push the songs with driving beats, flawlessly executed drum fills, tasteful double kick patterns, and tribal sounding sections. The bass also sounds consistently great, with warm, rich tones and a swinging feel that adds to the heavy blues vibe. In post-production, the band was able to effectively add high-quality orchestrations and sound clips, creating an even darker listening atmosphere.

If you’re a fan of proto-metal and doom, make sure to check out Scarecrow. Their album is available for digital download on Bandcamp, and the band is working on a physical CD release, which will include digipack and lyrics, projected for release on Bandcamp this month. You can also follow the band on Facebook, as well as Instagram and VK. The band also has Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

1X1, the heavy new track by All Them Witches

All Them Witches is a three-piece rock band from Nashville, TN. The band has a propensity for experimenting in different styles including doom, heavy blues, stoner rock, with elements of Americana and folk, as well as a prolific music output and touring circuit. Their catalog since forming in 2012, includes five full length studio albums, two live albums, four EP’s, and a string of non-album singles.

The band released their newest non-album single, 1X1, on October 31st. Unlike 2018’s full length, ATW, which was stripped down and less heavy, 1X1 is noticeably heavier. It’s tempting to compare the new track to the style on heavier past albums, such as 2016’s Lightning at the Door, but doing so would be a mistake: Lightning at the Door was more riffy with doom elements, while this track zeroes in on the drone. Guitarist Ben McLeod creates slow, heavy walls of detuned guitars while Charles Parks’s bass sound achieves something like a mixture of heavy blues and slow dub, with its deep, groovy tones. Drummer Robby Staebler accents the slow meter with heavy crashing cymbals and washy hi-hats, accomplishing some impressive OM-esque drum fills at the end of the track. The vocals and lead guitar lean towards heavy blues and sound much more like the band’s past work. Despite their influential presence on ATW, the keyboards are left behind on 1X1. The result of all of these finely tuned components is a sound that is even heavier and somehow even more raw sounding than most of their past work.

It’s tempting to compare 1X1 to other albums or songs by All Them Witches, but it’s difficult to. The track is an expression of the band’s desire to find new and innovative directions for their sound, so just kick back, put on your headphones, and let the band’s creativity and heaviness take you to sonic realms not yet explored. Pick up the track today for free or name your price on Bandcamp. Also, make sure to check out the band’s tour dates for an energetic live show. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Tour Dates

Nov 18 The SSE Hydro – Glasgow, UK

Nov 20 3Arena – Dublin, Ireland

Nov 22 SSE Arena Wembley – London, UK

Nov 23 First Direct Arena – Leeds, UK

Nov 25 Orange Club – Kiel, Germany

Dec 14 Kulturhaus Stattbahnhof – Schweinfurt, Germany

Dec 27 Exit In – Nashville, TN

Dec 28 Exit In – Nashville, TN

Dec 29 Exit In – Nashville, TN

Space invaders spread fear on heavy debut single by Ryte

Ryte will be released by Heavy Psych Sounds on January 17th

Ryte, a four-piece stoner rock band from Vienna, Austria, is one of the latest additions to Heavy Psych Sounds Records, home to bands such as Crypt Trip and Brant Bjork. Ryte recently announced their debut self-titled album, set for release on January 17, 2020. The album will contain four long tracks, written and crafted over the course of a year a half. Invaders, the heavy first single from that album is out now.

Invaders is a massive sounding track, and it’s long, clocking in a 7:55. It’s driven by dual guitars which play in unison throughout the track, creating beautiful harmonies, driving leads, and ominously slow and heavy chugging riffs. The bass is detuned and distorted, confidently grooving throughout the song and cutting through the mix nicely, and the drums sound huge with ringing cymbals and thunderous percussion. Channeling an Ozzy-esque, Hand of Doom quality, the sparse vocals are melodic in an evil sounding way, warning of psychic “night creatures” and “space invaders.” The track has plenty of stoner rock changeups with fast, chugging sections, dual guitar leads, slow and heavy doom sections, wah pedal accents, plenty of complex progressive moments, and even a sick theramin space-battle at the end.

The album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp and on Heavy Psych Sounds, giving you one track now and the rest on January 17th. You can also pre-order the album on vinyl in many styles, including transparent orange, clear water green, as well as black. The album will also be available on CD. All of the physical releases are limited, so get on it. Also, check out the band on Facebook. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

The Sonic Sofa Podcast: Crobot, Dimetrodon, The Gig Experiment, and more stoner rock and heavy psych

Become one with The Sonic Sofa Podcast. The November podcast features heavy new music by Crobot, Dimetrodon, and Pseudo Mind Hive. We also explore the realm of heavy psych with a brand new track from The Lancasters and surf riffy electric waves with The Gig Experiment and Snake Mountain Revival.

Check out the Sonic Sofa on Soundcloud and thesonicsofa.blog and Twitter. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music, a band, or an original music review that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at thesonicsofashow@gmail.com. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Debut album by The Lancasters is filled with 60’s style heavy-psych goodness

The Lancasters are a psychedelic rock trio from Brescia, Italy. They just released their debut, The Lancasters, on November 1st. The self-titled album was independently released and is being promoted by Fuzzy Cracklins Presents while the band looks for the right label to release their work on vinyl. The album was recorded to tape and professionally mixed and mastered, giving it a warm, vintage sound. The album is smooth and groovy, evincing the sound of bands like Led Zeppelin and the lyrical sensibilities of groups like The Beatles.

1. Howitzer 3:04
2. Sharp 683 4:09
3. Get a Good Lawyer 3:00
4. Mata Hari 6:40
5. Powder 4:59
6. Stellar 3:07
7. Reflectors 5:00
8. Northern Road 3:49
9. Sweet Cross 4:13

The nine tracks on the album cover a dynamic range of sounds and styles that flow over you like a warm, fuzzy blanket. Tracks like Mata Hari, Sharp 683, Stellar, and Reflectors rest in a pocket of psychedelic electric rock filled with catchy guitar hooks and vocal melodies. The band explores a softer acoustic side on Get a Good Lawyer and Northern Road, while Powder takes the band into the riffy realm of heavy blues with its thick bass and chunky guitars. In addition to the album, don’t miss the trippy music videos for the tracks Howitzer and Stellar.

The Lancasters is available on CD and digital download on Bandcamp. You can also stream the album on Spotify. Make sure to check out the band on Instagram, as well as YouTube. For a whole lot more great music on Bandcamp, check out Fuzzy Cracklins. As always, thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Of Seers and Sirens, the new album by Pseudo Mind Hive, will take you on a heavy audio odyssey

Of Seers and Sirens was released by Salty Dog Records

Pseudo Mind Hive is a psychedelic stoner rock band from Melbourne, Australia. They formed in 2007. The five member band is made up of Jack Ainsworth on bass, Samuel Drew-Rumoro on drums, Christopher Hockey on guitar, Mark Vincini on guitar, and new member Jess Joannou on organ and synths. All members contribute vocals. They just released their second full length, Of Seers and Sirens, a followup to their debut album, From Elsewhere, which was released in 2018. The band is signed to Salty Dog Records, a label based in Brunswick East, Australia.

“rounds of progressive patterns and guitar leads”

Though the definition varies according to who you ask, most will agree that stoner rock requires a few basic ingredients: fuzzy, overdriven guitars with heavy riffs, thunderous drums and crashing cymbals, a fat bass sound, rounds of progressive patterns and guitar leads, complex turnarounds and changeups, psychedelic lyrics, and it doesn’t hurt if your vocalist sounds just a little bit like Ozzy. Throw in a some spacey synthesizers and grinding organs for good measure and Pseudo Mind Hive checks all of these marks, cementing themselves firmly in the scene with their brand of heavy, psychedelic stoner rock. If you enjoy bands like Elder or Howling Giant, you’re going to dig Pseudo Mind Hive.

Of Seers and Sirens was released on October 25, 2019. It’s a heavy concept album filled with psychedelic textures, mythical lyrics, complex, progressive arrangements, and hypnotic dynamics. It’s also not afraid of being solely instrumental as shown on the heavy bonus track, Solstice. The album has a mythical, Homeric vibe and many of the songs reference ocean voyages and adventures, such as the mention of sirens on the title track. There’s also a tip of the hat to the famous scientist in the sprawling epic track, Gaze of Ptolemy. The artwork by Max Loeffler, famed for his work with Elder, is also very Greek in style and seems to reference Odysseus and his journeys.

1. Sails At Dawn 4:14
2. The Dreamer’s Burning Door 4:25
3. Of Seers & Sirens 6:36
4. Solstice “Bonus Track” 5:51
5. Gaze Of Ptolemy 9:16
6. Equinox 8:13
7. Broken Colours 8:09

In a statement provided by the band, the story concept of the album is as follows, “In short, Of Seers and Sirens loosely follows the journey of an explorer who is lost at sea and, due to forces that are ambiguous in their nature as either supernatural or hallucinatory, finds himself amongst scenes and figures from various mythologies and points in human history. However, each song is hoped to conjour many and varied interpretations and meanings to each individual listener.”

Check out the album on Bandcamp where you can download the digital album for $7 Australian, or roughly $4.25 U.S. The record is available for sale on Salty Dog’s Website. You can also check out Pseudo Mind Hive on Facebook and Instagram, and they can be contacted at pseudomindhive@gmail.com. Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.


The Gig Experiment provides surfy wah pedal and heavy riffs on new EP, Shark Attack

Shark Attack was released on October 29

The Gig Experiment is a three piece rock band from São Bernardo Do Campo, Brazil. The band is made up of Matheus Longhi on guitar, Marcus Moraes on bass and Demian Meneses on drums. They produce a surfy blend of instrumental heavy-psychedelic music with stoner-rock influences. Imagine the surfy flow of bands like Satan’s Pilgrims or Snake Mountain Revival, mixed with a light dose of the heavy riffage of Black Sabbath, and you get the idea.

Their new EP, Shark Attack, was released on October 29 and follows a live album called 220V Ao Vivo which is available to listen to in full by following this link to YouTube. With just three tracks on their new EP, Shark Attack is a short but very sweet ride. The guitar, bass, and drums sound raw, stripped down, and dialed in to deliver the grooves for the entire 10 minutes of the EP. It’s available for digital download on Bandcamp.

The first two tracks, Shark Attack and Poucas Ideia, are driving, wah pedal drenched barrel rides. The bass sounds thick and does several octave drops at key moments in the songs that really add to the beefiness. The drums have depth and come through really well in the mix with crashing cymbals and a full snare sound.

The third track, Três, dramatically slows the tempo and adds a vocal melody to the intro. The fuzzy, overdriven guitar really kicks in as well, adding some muscle to the song, hence the Black Sabbath comparison. A nice melodic guitar lead takes over for the vocal melody, and an upbeat outro finishes up the song.

The Gig Experiment is a three piece rock band from São Bernardo Do Campo, Brazil

All in all, it’s a very upbeat, catchy EP with some heavy moments. Unfortunately, the EP is very short, but it is definitely worth a listen. Keep an eye out for The Gig Experiment as their future releases should be promising. Make sure to check them out on Bandcamp. Also, find the band on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Thank for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.