The Dry Mouths release new psych album, Thödol

Thödol was released on May 13, 2022

The Dry Mouths are a psychedelic instrumental power trio from Almería, Spain. The band specializes in creating sonic landscapes of hypnotic, psychedelic soundwaves, laced with occasional heavy stoner rock sections. Active since 2006, the group has six full length records, with the release of 2022’s Thödol.

Released in May, Thödol is inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The band elaborates on their interpretations with 10 tracks, ranging from two-seven minutes. According to a statement from the band, “The album is a work of fantasy and extra-sensory experiences, of life and death, of both peaceful and dark visions, of self knowledge and of the fight against the fears that our own minds create. The album is a mental journey in which consciousness separates from the physical body and tries to gain enlightenment and ascend above, through the act of listening.” For the best effect, Thödol should be listened to start to finish, as a single composition, to fully induce the trance.

1. Den-Dro Sum 3:40
2. Hinayana 6:29
3. Kyenay 4:26
4. Milam 2:49
5. Dhyana 3:34
6. Ngen-Dro Sum 5:20
7. Chikhai 3:40
8. Dharmata 5:37
9. Zhi Tros Lha 7:10
10. Chönyid 2:01

Opener Den-Dro Sum sets the mood for the first three quarters of the album with soothing guitar leads that more than take the place of vocals. It’s easy to get lost in the hypnotic drum patterns. Hinayana introduces a fat bass tone, bordering on dub, and listen for some creative percussion throughout and a kettle drum sound at the end. Kyenay features a groovy rhythm section and some cool post-rock guitar leads, while Milam has some creative Middle-Eastern sounding guitar that gave me Babylon Tree vibes. The ethnic sounding drumming and sitar on Dhyana made it a stand out track for me. Another stand out was Ngen-Dro Sum, which changed things up with one of the heaviest riffs on the album. The last four tracks of the album mostly replace the guitar melodies with spacy synth layers. Chikhai features a chill transition with layers of keyboard tones building up throughout. The heavy synth tone on Dharmata gave me some low-key Dimetrodon vibes. Listen on Zhi Tros Lha for a spacier synth sound and groovy, fx-heavy bass tone, while Chönyid closes out the album in a satisfying, low-key way.

The record, a follow-up to 2019’s Lo-Fi Sounds for Hi-Fi People, was recorded at Desert City Studio between October, 2020 and June, 2021. The artwork was disigned and created by Iván Carreño. It can be downloaded on Bandcamp for under $7. The vinyl record, co-released by Spinda Records, Aneurisma Records, Violence In The Veins, Discos Macarras, Zona Rock Productions, Bandera Records, Quebranta Records and Odio Sonoro, can be ordered for $20. Check out the band’s merch page for current and back releases and find the band on social media.

Blue Heron set to release debut album, Ephemeral

Ephemeral will be released on May 27th

Blue Heron is a four-piece desert rock band from Albuquerque, NM. Their debut album, Ephemeral, will be released in late May. The group deals out a psychedelic mix of grungy heavy metal, with strong desert rock vibes and rhythms.

Ephemeral, featuring beautiful artwork by Mirko Gastow, is set for a May 27th release. The eight track album clocks in at a very listenable 47 minutes. It’s heavy from start to finish, with the exception of a few quiet interlude tracks that give short breathers between headbanging and breakdowns.

1. Futurola 5:22
2. Sayonara 13:20
3. Push the Sky 4:39
4. Infiniton Field 2:20
5. The Buck 6:19
6. Black Blood of the Earth 7:14
7. Where One Went Together 2:02
8. Salvage 5:53

Futurola music video by Dedisuseno

There’s plenty of driving, desert rock guitar, like on opener, Futurola, and even some High on Fire flavored riffage, like on Black Blood of the Earth, which also features a heavy, Sabbath-worship ending. Keep your ear out for plenty of spacy guitar solos, especially on the epic, 13 minute track, Sayonara, and even some reflective acoustic work on interlude track, Infiniton Field. Fans of Kal-El and Dozer will aprove.

The bass is impressive, with a full, in your face sound. It creates a solid, rhythmic counterpart for the drums, often taking the lead when the guitars are spacing out. Fans of Kyuss and Clutch will appreciate the complexity and driving rhythm. Check out Sayonara and The Buck for excellent examples of the growly bass tones and competent leads.

The drums are solid and driving throughout, featuring bluesy patterns and plenty of heavy breakdowns. There’s plenty of tasty tom work and cymbal accents, notable on Push the Sky, and a crisp sound shines through on closer, Salvage. Black Blood of the Earth has a definite stoner metal drumming sound, which fans of High on Fire and The Sword will appreciate, and don’t miss the shuffle pattern for the heavy blues ending.

The vocals are unique and diverse. Most of the album features melodic vocals with a throaty, aggressive delivery. Several of the tracks, including Sayonara and Push the Sky, have some edgy hardcore vocals at the end. Fans of John Garcia, Neil Fallon, and Matt Pike won’t be disappointed. Lyrical content ranges from mortality and the fleeting nature of existence to mythic fables about deposed gods and failed civilizations.

The album will be released by Kosmik Artifactz and Seeing Red Records. You can find the band on social media. Pre-order the digital album on Bandcamp for $6 or vinyl for $25, with supplies shipping on May 30th. Check out the merch page for bundle deals on their album and Black Blood of the Earth/A Sunken Place EP from 2021. Also, check out the music videos for Futurola and Push the Sky. Definitely keep an ear out for more from Blue Heron.

The Singularity: New album by Wo Fat

The Singularity was released on May 6, 2022

Wo Fat’s brand of heavy blues is guaranteed to blow your mind with their progressive style and spacy jam sessions. They set themselves apart from typical bands of the genre with their unique blend of groovy Texas stoner rock. Now, the power trio from Dallas is back with The Singularity, their seventh studio album, released through Ripple Music.

The band’s first full length studio album in five years, The Singularity is a worthy follow-up to 2016’s Midnight Cometh. It features gnarly cover art by Eli Quinn and is composed of seven tracks, clocking in at a beefy 75 minutes. Like the structure of most of their past work, the tracks are more like two songs in one. They usually open with a heavy, blues-based stoner rock song, before proceeding to melt faces with dynamic, progressive jams for the last half, with tons of heavy changeups, melodic sci-fi lyrics, fluid drum work, jazzy infusions, stoner rock turnarounds, and soaring guitar solos.

1. Orphans of the Singe 13:54
2. The Snows of Banquo IV 8:25
3. Overworlder 11:54
4. The Unraveling 7:42
5. The Witching Chamber 9:25
6. The Singularity 7:46
7. The Oracle 16:32

Personnel (Left to Right): Zack Busby (Bass), Michael Walter (Drums), Kent Stump (Guitar/Vox)

From start to finish, the album is an absolute head banger. Kent Stump provides muscular guitar riffs and, like Tim Sult of Clutch, knows his way around a wah-pedal. His heavy blues and progressive style at times remind me of Droids Attack, or possibly even early Galactic Cowboys. Stump’s vocals are aggressive and melodic, with occasional harmonies. On bass, Zack Busby keeps things solid with a beefy bass tone that is perfectly locked on to the drum work, while creating an incredibly perceptive compliment to the guitar riffs, and like Geezer Butler, isn’t afraid to explore the fretboard. Michael Walter provides a huge, driving drum sound with a fluid complexity that dances between time signatures and explores every aspect of the riff.

You can find all of Wo Fat’s releases, including splits and live albums, on Bandcamp. Their entire discography is available for digital download for under $54. The Singularity is available on CD and digital download for $10. The album is also available on color-splat or black double vinyl, though copies are sold out as of this writing. Check out their merch page for tons of cool t-shirts as well as copies of back albums.

Dhidalah takes us back to space with new album, Sensoria 認識

Sensoria was released on April 22, 2022

Dhidalah is a space rock power trio from Tokyo, Japan. Well schooled in the concept of sonic space travel, their jam oriented music has been taking us to the outer realms of psychedelic rock since 2013. The band released several independent recordings and EPs before signing with Guruguru Brain. Since then, they’ve released full lengths No Water in 2017 and Threshold in 2019. Their latest release, Sensoria, was released online in April, with vinyl pre-orders shipping this fall.

Sensoria is a four track album, clocking in at a modest 38 minutes. To create new material, the band members explore ideas during weekly jam sessions, which they then contemplate upon and hone throughout the week for the next session. Two tracks from the album, Soma and Black Shrine, were created through these sessions, while the other two tracks, Invader Summer and DEAD, are credited to guitarist Ikuma Kawabe, of Church of Misery fame. The tracks were recorded and mastered by Ryuhi Inari of Void)))Lab and mixed by Hideki Urawa. The album features cover artwork by D.Norsen.

1. Soma 9:07
2. Invader Summer 6:00
3. DEAD 3:03
4. Black Shrine 20:01

Dhidalah is Ikuma Kawabe (guitars), Kazuhira Gotoh (bass, vocals, noise FX), and Masahito Goda (drums)

The short full length packs a hard psychedelic punch that sounds both raw and organic, but with the seasoned tightness of a touring jam band. You’ll want to wear headphones to absorb the full mind-warping impact of the sonic trip. Listen for phaser and wah-pedal infused layers of guitars throughout, notable on Soma and Invader Summer. The fast pace of many of their tracks reminds me of King Gizzard’s jammiest stuff. A tight and tonal drum sound lays down a solid base groove throughout the album, and listen for some creative hand percussion interplay with the acoustic guitar on the slower and quieter, DEAD. Black Shrine, the incredible 20 minute closer, inspired by the Yokai of Japanese folklore (I fully support following this link and tripping out on these entities while you listen), features a meaty bass tone, possibly reminiscent of OM’s phased out drum sound. Melodic vocals, sparse and drenched in otherworldly reverb and delay, as well as sci-fi noise FX, add to the spacy atmosphere of the album.

You can find the digital album for under $8 on Bandcamp, where you can also preorder the vinyl for under $30. Keep in mind, records will not ship until August outside of the US, and until September for the US. Also, check out the band’s social media where you can find t-shirts, tote bags, and other merch.

Tour Dates

May 19 Sebright Arms – London, UK

May 20 The Crofters Rights – Bristol, UK

May 22 Hare and Hounds – Birmingham, UK

May 23 The Hope and Ruin – Brighton, UK

May 24 Supersonic – Paris, France

May 25 Trefpunt Concertzaal – Ghent, Belgium

May 26 Arena Berlin – Berlin, Germany

May 26 Ilses Erika – Leipzig, Germany

Somali Yacht Club release new album, The Space

The Space was released on April 22, 2022

Somali Yacht Club is a psychedelic stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. The group formed in 2010 and have four full lengths under their belt with the release of 2022’s The Space. The group is known for their psychedelic music, infused with elements of shoe gaze and early grunge.

The Space, is their debut album on Season of Mist Records. It contains six tracks, with 45 minutes of some of the most dynamic and atmospheric stoner rock available. It has a huge drum sound, melodic vocals, and walls of guitar tones that undulate and build with plenty of heavy changeups. The beautiful cover art was provided by renowned Ukrainian artist, Dasha Pliska, whose art has been featured in Dash and Flaunt.

Silver and Gold, two of the shortest tracks on the album, really bring the shoe gaze element, with their atmospheric psychedelia and melodramatic vocals, even offering a little Deftones flavor at times. Look for a full, heavy sound on Pulsar and Alice in Chains style harmonies on Echo of Direction. Obscurum’s progressive intro and and creative chord progressions recall the best of Weedpecker and perhaps even early King’s X. Album closer Momentum ends the album beautifully, and in a very heavy way.

1. Silver 5:16

2. Pulsar 9:07

3. Obscurum 5:06

4. Echo of Direction 9:45

5. Gold 3:32

6. Momentum 12:30

You can find the The Space on Bandcamp. Their album is currently available on digital release, CD, and vinyl. Also, check out their merch page where you can find past releases and t-shirts. Amidst the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, the band has pledged to donate all profits made in 2022 to various charities to help their home country.

Tour Dates

May 27 Indian Ocean Hotel – Scarborough, Western Australia

Jun 10 Evelyn Hotel – Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

Sleep Concert Review and News

Sleep live in Denver, April 18, 2022 – Photo credit: The Purlenaut

Last October, Sleep announced a brief, weeklong 2022 tour for April, totaling three shows in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Albuquerque, culminating on 4/20. This evolved into five total shows, with an extra matinee show added in Colorado Springs and a quickly announced appearance at Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe. Along with the tour, Sleep released a live recording from their concert in New York in 2018, as well as a remastered reissue of Dopesmoker on Third Man Records.

Denver setlist – Photo Credit: Tim Bugbee

I made it to their show at the Mission Ballroom in Denver. After openers Superwolves, Sleep took the stage and gave the tightest, most studio-quality performance that I’ve witnessed them perform. There were noticeably less amps on stage than previous shows, which, paired with the robust in-house system, seemed to result in a cleaner mix and more focused sound. The vocals especially were clearer and more distinct; less overshadowed in the mix than previous shows. The mini tour also featured the debut of Al’s 4420 custom double-neck Rickenbacker. The setlist included two classic tracks from their album, Holy Mountain (Holy Mountain, Dragonaut), both Adult Swim Singles (Leagues Beneath, The Clarity), and three tracks from The Sciences (Marijuanaut’s Theme, Sonic Titan, The Botanist).

Among the tables of merch was the limited release of 420 hand etched records from their concert in New York, 2018. It features some sick Escape From New York cover art complete with their signature Sabbath worship. The two green and white discs have a great live concert sound, as well as an amazing mix that really captures the full dynamic range of the band. The low end is especially bright and pronounced.

New York 2018 – Photo Credit: The Purlenaut

In other news, Sleep recently announced a reissue of their legendary Dopesmoker LP with Nashville’s Third Man Records. The album is remastered from the source tapes and features a rare studio recording of the previously unreleased track, Hot Lava Man, as well as studio notes and vintage photo prints of the band members. The album retains original artwork by longtime collaborator and album cover artist, Arik Roper. The album is available through Third Man’s Vault Subscription. The sign up deadline to receive the album is April 30th at midnight.

Tour Dates

Aug 27 This Ain’t No Picnic Festival – Pasadena, CA, US

A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand, the heavy new album by Humanotone

A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand was released on March 11

Humanotone is a one man musical project, produced and performed by multi-instrumentalist, Jorge Cist, who is based in Coquimbo, Chile. His music is a progressive dose of muscular stoner rock and shares the same psychedelic vein as heavy hitters such as Elder and Swan Valley Heights. Jorge just released Humanatone’s second album, A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand, an impressive follow-up to 2017s self-titled debut.

Flourishing Fall consists of six richly layered, flowing compositions, five of which range from eight to over 12 minutes in length. Initially written between 2017 and 2019, the songs were structured and recorded between May and October of 2021. According to Jorge, “All the songs were inspired by the sea and are a way of thanking the healing power it had on me during rough times.”

While listening to this album on repeat on a recent bus trip through the Rocky Mountains, I realized why this album stands out: It seriously flows! Similar to the ocean or the mountain ranges passing before my eyes, the album has a natural quality, indefinable by words alone. While many similar progressive rock albums can tend to get bogged down in their own complexity, Flourishing Fall flows seamlessly from riff to riff like crashing waves or thunder on mountain peaks.

In addition to performing vocals and instrumentation, Jorge also recorded and mixed the album in his own Massive Void Recordings studio and created the artwork using pointillism technique on 140g Canson paper. Make sure to also check out the artwork produced for the album’s first single, Light Antilogies. A Flourishing Fall in a Grain of Sand is available on Bandcamp, where the entire discography can be downloaded for under five dollars. While there, you can also link to videos and social media.

Pike vs The Automaton

Pike vs The Automaton was released on Feb 18,2022

Matt Pike’s first solo album came to us in a time when we needed it the most. In the dead of a winter filled with wars and rumors of wars, pandemic, natural disasters, as well as between releases and tours by primary groups Sleep and High on Fire, the riff-master took matters into his own hands and produced Pike vs The Automaton.

It’s a heavy album that explores retro sounding heavy metal, thrash, punk, and even some twangy blues. Falling somewhere between the riffy thrash of High on Fire and the stoner-doom of Sleep, Pike gave in fully to his musical instincts, riffing his way through an assemblage of songs guaranteed to induce head-banging and disgust with authority.

Recorded in his garage during the pandemic, Pike’s describes his work this way: “I made a psychedelic rock record that Sleep and High on Fire fans would like. And maybe if you’re not a Sleep or High on Fire fan, you might like it too. I definitely think it’s interesting; it has D-Beat punk, two-step. It’s got everything and it still works together, it doesn’t sound odd. It’s just an off-the-wall psychedelic rock record.” 

At the core of the ensemble group is Pike on guitars and vocals, backed by friend and drummer Jon Reid. Featured among many guests on the album are some familiar names. Brent Hinds of Mastodon appears in a surprisingly chill cameo on the twangy “Land.” Pike’s wife provides caustic vocals on the hard-core “Acid Test Zone.” Jeff Matz, bassist of High on Fire, plays the Turkish electric saz on the album’s epic 11 minute closer, “Leaving the Wars of Woe.”

The album clocks in at 63 minutes with 10 tracks, and features beautifully rendered, symbolic cover art. It’s available on vinyl and CD, as well as digital release.

Howling Giant set for 4/20 release; heavy new single out now

Alteration, the instrumental EP by Howling Giant

The lockdown was tough on all of us, but especially for bands whose bread and butter is touring and selling merch. Some, like Nashville’s Howling Giant, have had to get creative in order to endure the quarantine. With regular Twitch streams as a way to connect with fans, including live jam sessions on Saturday nights, the progressive stoner rockers began creating impromptu instrumental jams to names created by audience members. Alteration, the new EP by the band, features four of these jams, crafted and refined in the studio. Look for the release on 4/20 and for now, check out their new single, Luring Alluring Rings.

With a rich psychedelic atmosphere, the track features an epic chord progressions, huge drum sound, and ethereal keyboard tones. The song has a beautifully melodic theme. In the middle of the track, listen for the soaring guitar solos and heavy chugging changeup, right before the triumphant return of the main theme in the last third of the song. Listen to Howling Giant’s new track, Luring Alluring Rings, and make sure to check out the full EP, Alteration, available for $5 on their Bandcamp page, out on 4/20.

Album Review: Scottish stoner rock band, Isak, set to release new full length, The Great Expanse

The Great Expanse will be released in late February

Isak is a stoner rock trio from Glasgow, Scotland. The group is made up of Joe McGarrity on vocals and guitar, Mark Tait on bass, and Robert “Twigs” McLean drums. The band has been producing riffy space rock since 2012 and just announced their first full length album, The Great Expanse, via their Facebook page.

The Great Expanse will be a followup up to Isak EP, released in July, 2013, and EP2, which was released in January, 2018. The Great Expanse is a sonically compelling stoner rock album that will take you to the edge of space and beyond. The album tells the story of traveler journeying across the galaxy. As he embarks across the endless cosmos, he begins to wonder if he is alone or if he is being guided. More than half instrumental, but employing the sparse, melodic vocals in a focused and effective way, the album is the soundtrack to the traveler’s story. It unfolds dynamically over the course of 45 minutes and seven tracks. The record was recorded at 16 Ohm Studio in Glasgow, with Tommy Duffin of Cosmic Dead and John McBain of Monster Magnet completing the mastering.

  1. The Great Expanse 6:46
  2. Beyond the Karman Line 6:24
  3. Falling Satellite 11:39
  4. Interstellar 3:05
  5. Ablaze 6:40
  6. Out of Reach 5:50
  7. Call of the Void 4:00

The album opens with The Great Expanse, a riffy track with a driving bass and rhythm section. With thoughtful, melodic lyrics such as “set sail on infinite seas” and “explore the great beyond,” space exploration quickly becomes the theme of the album. The lyrics disappear after the first half (they return on the fifth track), and the band members let the instruments continue the story. A spacey jam finishes things out and it fades seamlessly into the second song.

The Karman Line is the altitude where Earth ends and space begins, 62 miles above the surface. The second track, Beyond the Karman Line, begins low key with a catchy clean guitar line, but then the song builds and accelerates the heaviness, as if it were the second stage of a rocket flinging us into the vastness of space. The track has a creative drum pattern and bass rhythm, topped off by a fuzzy, psychedelic guitar tone.

Falling Satellite is the longest song on the album, close to 12 minutes. It starts with thick bass tones and cymbal swells. The guitar materializes from spacey, atmospheric sounds into a cohesive pattern, and the other instruments develop with it, creating a cosmic jam that plays out over the first half of the song. The second half transforms into a heavier, driving riff with a progressive poly-rhythm that has echoes of Tool. The track continues to form and explore for the last half, featuring a singing guitar lead and progressively building and building before fading out, with the cymbals swells and thick bass tones from the beginning making a return.

Opening with ethereal organ tones and cosmic guitar notes, Interstellar builds into a short but nice bass-heavy progression. The hypnotic pattern continues for a few minutes before fading into the next track, Ablaze, which takes us into more of a crunchier, riffier territory. This track is where the lyrics return, making their presence at the beginning and end of the track. Meanwhile, the band provides plenty of cool stoner rock change-ups, complex rhythm patterns, and plenty of cool, wandering guitar leads that weave in and out of the musical fabric.

Out of Reach starts right in with a swingy, heavy riff. The drums produce a decent shuffle pattern and some huge sounding cymbal crashes alongside a growly bass. While the opening track’s lyrics felt broad and hopeful, optimistically talking of exploring the “infinite seas” of space, the lyrics in Out of Reach come across as more desperate, searching, and claustrophobic, as if the traveler is searching for meaning, or anything, in the empty reaches of space.

At the beginning of the last track, Call of the Void, the band changes it up with harmonic, angelic vocals over a clean guitar line. It’s unsure if the harmonic lyrics represents the voice of a heavenly guide leading our traveler to some kind of salvation, or perhaps the last hallucination of a dying astronaut drifting endless into cold space, but somehow both scenarios seem hopeful, and a fitting end to an awesome stoner rock odyssey.

The album is set for release in late February, and will be available on Bandcamp, alongside their two previous EPs. Make sure to also check out the band on Facebook and Twitter. Check out The Sonic Sofa on StitcherSoundcloudthesonicsofa.blog, and Twitter. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music, a band, or an original music review or press release that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at thesonicsofashow@gmail.com. If you enjoy the content provided on this blog and want to see more, please consider donating to The Sonic Sofa on PayPal or Patreon. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.

Show Dates

Feb 29 Red Crust Winter Warmer – Glasgow, UK

May 10 Red Crust Festival – Edinburgh, UK