Spiral Fires, the new EP by Geezer, is a four-song psychedelic masterpiece. It is equal parts heavy blues and spacey walls of effects, and it switches back and forth effortlessly between infectious groove patterns, trance-inducing jams, spacey interludes, and heavy riffs. The result is 25 minutes of captivating music that will reward repeat listens.
“a natural feel and an improvised sound”
It’s difficult to define the particular brand of stoner rock that Geezer releases, but the heavy blues at its core is unmistakable. Most of the EP is fleshed out over a solid backbone of 3/4 or 6/8 time, creating a bluesy, swinging feel. It also allows the band to lay down rounds of riffs and constantly jam over them, which gives the album a natural feel and an improvised sound.
Pat Harrington, the only original member of the Kingston, New York trio, provides the vocals, guitars, and synths. Richie Touseull, who joined the band in 2015, returns on bass. Steve Markota, on drums, joins the group for the first time on this recording. The artwork for the album was created by Lee Fenyves. A limited edition vinyl has been announced by Kozmik Artifactz Records, the same label used by Somali Yacht Club and Church of the Cosmic Skull.
Spiral Fires Part I and II, two tracks that almost seamlessly meld into each other, open up the recording. Flowing waves of synth start up the double header and seem to set the tone for a spacy synthesizer voyage, but then a fuzzy guitar riff kicks in and is soon joined by the equally heavy bass and drums, laying down a fat, bluesy, three quarter time groove. Pat Harrington’s gritty, low-register vocals are perfectly suited to the crunchy riffs, and Harrington definitely knows his vocal range limits and works well within those confines.
“a psychedelic audioscape of trance-like blues”
Part II, an instrumental continuation of the first song, is similar in tone and more diverse in texture. As the band unfolds a psychedelic audioscape of trance-like blues, the guitar tones explore the scales of the song while the drums and bass keep the groove tightly in place. Subtle Middle-Eastern phrases are evident as the song slowly builds up, and for the higher energy finale, Harrington’s vocals are contrasted by the loftier notes of guest vocalist, Pam Grande.
The third song, Dark world, is written in three quarter time, with the guitar tones throughout the song really bringing a tasty Colour Haze vibe. With lyrics such as “children in cages” and “wildfire rages,” the lyrics speak of signs of the times and responding to corruption and sadness in the world. However, the lyrics do speak of hope in the end, and finally match the bright tones of the guitar leads.
Just as the first half of the EP featured two songs that melted into each other, Charley Reefer finishes off the recording with the same three quarter time signature which started on Darkworld. It opens with a cool, spacey synthesizer pattern before developing into a guitar lead which makes perfect use of delay and phaser effects. When the song kicks in to the main riff, we are introduced to one of the catchiest songs on the EP, and also the one with some of the strangest sounding and most progressive elements, with some drum beats and whimsical guitar leads that wouldn’t be out of place on a Primus album.
“diverse and cosmic”
Over all, Spiral Fires is a sonic trip that shows how diverse and cosmic the heavy blues genre really can be, and listening to the EP is truly a unique and enjoyable experience. For best results, kick back on the sofa with your strain of choice and listen to the whole EP from start to finish. It can be purchased and listened to on Bandcamp. Also, keep an eye out for several upcoming shows.
Feb 27 The Anchor – Kingston, NY – W/ Forming the Void and Kings Destroy
Mar 20 Arlene’s Grocery – New York, NY – W/ Ode to Doom, Slush, Grass, The Ancient Stone
April 20 The Anchor – Kingston, NY – W/ River Cult, Eternal Black
April 23 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY W/ Kings Destroy