King Buffalo has been dealing heavy psych music since 2013 and have big plans for 2021. The Rochester, NY trio, who has toured with stoner rock giants The Sword, Elder, and All Them Witches, has announced that they will be releasing three full length albums this year and have already listed dates for a fall tour. The first album, titled The Burden of Restlessness, is set for a June 4 release and the first single is out now. The second two releases are being kept under wraps, although the band has hinted that each album will be distinct and recorded with different methods.
Hebetation is the new track from The Burden of Restlessness, and expands King Buffalo’s sound into progressive new audioscapes. Although I was a fan of the heavy psych atmosphere of their first two full lengths, Orion and Longing to be the Mountain, it sometimes felt like the band was stuck in repetitive musical territory. However, with their third full-length, Dead Star, the band showed they weren’t afraid to infuse their rock with more aggressive and driving sections, giving them a more diverse and well-rounded sound. The best thing about it was that the band never changed their core style, but simply expanded it. With Hebetation, we see that evolution continuing, with an even more progressive, heavy sound, all while maintaining their own trance-inducing psychedeliscapes.
SEP 10 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
SEP 11 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
SEP 14 The Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
SEP 15 Bottom Of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
SEP 17 Barboza – Seattle, WA
SEP 18 Barboza – Seattle, WA
SEP 19 Lola’s Room – Portland, OR
OCT 1 Higher Ground – South Burlington, VT
OCT 2 Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT
OCT 15 The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub – Cambridge, MA
NOV 4 DC9 – Washington, DC
NOV 5 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
NOV 6 Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
NOV 11 Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA
NOV 12 The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI
NOV 13 Hi-Fi – Indianapolis, IN
NOV 14 Off Broadway – St. Louis, MO
NOV 16 The Winnebago – Madison, WI
NOV 17 7th St Entry – Minneapolis, MN
NOV 18 The Back Room @ Colectivo – Milwaukee, WI
NOV 19 Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL
NOV 20 Beachland Ballroom & Tavern – Cleveland, OH
After a hyper-sleep spanning the eons of 2020 and slightly beyond (I changed jobs and moved and didn’t have as much time to write about my favorite music), the Sonic Sofa has returned with earsplitting, heavy metal vengeance. Stay tuned for more reviews of new stoner rock music, a series highlighting 10 heavy classic albums from bands like Sleep and Electric Wizard, and more occasional stoner rock podcasts with the Purlenaut.
Goatriders is a four piece band from Linköping, Sweden. The band serves up a riffy mix of desert rock with plenty of hypnotic and spacey interludes. The band released their first EP 15/12, in December, 2018 and just followed it up with The Magician’s Keep, on January 27, 2020.
The Magician’s Keep was released by Ozium Records. Mixed and mastered by friend of the band, Petter Kindström, the album clocks in at 36 minutes and is made up of five tracks. With each track between five and 10 minutes, the songs are on the longer side and each is an immersive experience of diverse and spacey sound textures. The album is characterized by walls of fuzz, psychedelic guitar tones, crisp and clear drums, a growly bass tone that isn’t afraid to explore the fret board, and lots and lots of groove. If you enjoy bands like Naxatras, you will love what Goatriders has to serve up.
Amitte Diem 7:43
Hound of the Gods 5:24
Pitch Black Blues 6:47
Songs from Mars 10:41
Check out the band on Bandcamp where you can support the band by buying the digital album. The album will be available on vinyl and CD later this year. You can also check out the band on Instagram. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. You can find The Sonic Sofa on Stitcher, Soundcloud, thesonicsofa.blog, and Twitter. Please consider donating to The Sonic Sofa on PayPal or Patreon. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
Moonstone is stoner doom band hailing from Kraków, Poland. Formed in 2017, the group is made up of guitarist and vocalist Jan Maniewski, bassist Wiktor Kozak, and drummer Kacper Kubień. The trio pumps out rounds upon rounds of fuzzy, downtuned riffs and sparse, chantlike vocals on top of a hypnotic rhythm sections that chugs along like a freight train, plowing away everything in its groovy path.
Their debut self-titled album was released on December 28. The five song, 35 minute album is heavy from start to finish summoning the hypnotic riffing force of bands like Sleep and Belzebong, and infusing it with some bluesy Sabbathian groove. Moonstone keeps their arrangements fairly simple and straighforward, but the crushing weight of their riffs and rhythm, as well as several key change-ups, keeps things fresh even on the longer tracks.
1. The Oncoming 1:33 2. Mushroom King 5:21 3. Pale Void 10:20 4. Ash and Stone 9:05 5. SulphurEye 8:34
The album opens up with The Oncoming, a brief but atmospheric intro that uses some amazing bass tones and some seriously heavy power chords to tease the onslaught of riffage to come. Flowing seemlessly into Mushroom King with a fitting audio sample about viral mushroom spores, the track opens with a swingy riff over a shuffling drum pattern. The band takes the riff to absolute overdrive and adds some brief, eerie vocals at the end, before changing things up with an “Into the Void” like transition that will finish off your ear drums with sufficient power.
Pale Void opens with a slow and heavy riff and some complex drum work. The bass and drums create what is almost like a super-slowed down, reggae-like dub beat. When the vocals kick in, they are chant-like and occasionally employ some simple and tasty harmonies. The song features several heavy buildups, as well as a nice bass lead that transitions the song to a heavy ending.
Ash and Stone opens with another sludgy doom riff. Featuring some awesomely low power chords, the track is a total headbanger. The vocals are eerie and haunting, ringing out clear melodies over the heavy, fuzzy riffs. A cool switchup at the end kicks the song into high gear. On the album closer, Sulphereye, it starts with a muscular guitar tone and one of the darkest sounding riffs on the album. Aided by an equally dark film audio clip and some scary vocals, the track makes for a heavy, sludgy end to a heavy, sludgy album.
The album is available on CD and digital download on Bandcamp. Also check out the group on Facebook. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Stay tuned for the January podcast and for now, check out one of the past episodes for more great music. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
It has been seven years since Om’s last album, the critically acclaimed Advaitic Songs, was released, but the members have proven that patience is a virtue when it comes to their work. The core of the avant-garde rock group is vocalist and bassist, Al Cisneros of Sleep, and drummer, Emil Amos of Holy Sons and Grails. They are currently joined by keyboardist, Tyler Trotter of Bonnie Stillwatter. Between the triumphant return of Sleep and Emil Amos’s prolific solo output in Holy Sons, Om was relegated to short tours and occasional festivals such as Desertfest and Monolith on the Mesa, but in October, fans were surprised by the physical release of the band’s latest live album: the carefully recorded and engineered BBC Radio 1, Om’s highest quality live album to date, and the second with the current lineup.
BBC Radio 1 was released on October 9, 2019 on the Drag City record label. It was recorded in Maida Vale Studios in London in May, and the care and attention of both the band and the studio engineers is apparent on the final product. The instruments are impressively clear and the sound of the room is present on the recording. Unfortunately, the album is short, clocking in at just short of 30 minutes. It’s composed of four tracks: Gethsemane and State of Non-Return from Advaitic Songs, followed by Cremation Ghat and Cremation Ghat II from 2009’s God is Good. The classic songs have slightly changed, evolving over the years as the band has continually toured and improved their compositions and arrangements.
1. Gethsemane 11:19 2. State of Non-Return 8:22 3. Cremation Ghat 3:43 4. Cremation Ghat II 5:37
Cisneros’s bass tones on the album, carefully crafted and honed over decades, are rich and diverse, laying down a heavy bottom line for each song song. On Gethsemane, slow, meditative patterns guide us through the song with deep, clear tones. It’s followed by State of Non-Return’s fuzzy, overcharged sound; perhaps one of the heaviest bass tones ever committed to vinyl. The jazzier feel on the Cremation Ghat suite is matched by a groovy, clean tone that in part II, features some amazing Iommic sounding hooks that have been improvised since the studio release.
Emil Amos’s drumming style is like a cross between meditative stoner rock beats and flowing dub rhythms. As the songs progress, he regularly peppers in phenomenally complex fills, dancing within and around the beat, all while holding down the meter like a human metronome. His drums ring out with incredible clarity, capturing the the sound and breadth of the studio in their resonance. Carefully chosen cymbals, notably the outstanding ride bell and large china, add shimmering brilliance to the atmosphere of the album.
Trotter’s keyboard samples accurately represent the original recorded strings and ethnic instruments. All of his work tastefully fills out the album, adding texture and deepening the complexity of each track. Over it all, the esoteric lyrics are sparsely though thoughtfully placed for full impact. Blending characters, places, and concepts from multiple geographic areas and religions, Cisneros weaves a lyrical tapestry which is both meditatively therapeutic and thought-provoking.
Om has a number of tour dates lined up for 2019. If you get out to see the band on tour, you will be treated to an album quality performance. We saw the band last May at the Taos Brewery for the Monolith on the Mesa festival, and the result was electrifying. Some highlights of the show were Cisneros percussively slapping the bass, Amos in a trance-induced drumming state, Trotter employing a mixture of keyboards and physical instruments, and the whole scene of the desert earthship stage being bathed in dynamic, kaleidoscopic oil lights.
Although it looks like Sleep may be taking a break after releasing The Sciences and extensively touring The U.S. and Europe, this may be acceptable news for fans who have been waiting for a new Om studio album, as the break could allow the members of Om to join once again and unite their powers in song. No matter what the band decides to put out, you can be sure it will be worth the wait. For now, listen to the new live album and support the band by buying the high quality digital download from Bandcamp, or the two-record vinyl release with mixed green and black wax.
Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. This will be the last article of 2019, but we’ll be back and stronger for 2020. Happy holidays, go in peace, and rock on, Sofanauts.
Feb 21 Austin, TX – Mohawk
Feb 22 Houston, TX – Brash Brewing
Feb 23 Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill
Feb 24 Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge
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.
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 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.
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.
Snake Mountain Revival is a three piece heavy-psych band from Virginia Beach, Virginia. They produce a blend of psychedelic and stoner rock with strong elements of surf rock. The Valley of Madness is their new EP. It’s a mature and polished follow up to their debut EP, Snake Mountain Revival, which was released in 2018.
The Valley of Madness was released on October 4. It’s made up of four easy flowing songs filled to the brim with driving guitar riffs and surfy leads. The vocals are melodic and dreamy, with healthy doses of reverb. The bass is chunky, often using phasers and a wah pedal to give it a nice heavy-psych sound. The drums keep things moving forward, often using a tambourine and lots of trashy sounding cymbals (I mean trashy in an especially good way) to produce a rolling, crashing wave sound. The artwork on the album was produced by Ryan Chandler. Both EPs are available digital download for “name your price” on Bandcamp and The Valley of Madness is currently available on translucent purple cassette tape for $6.
1. The Valley of Madness 3:43 2. Just a Feeling 5:38 3. Water Moccasin 3:36 4. Everything in Sight 8:30
The Valley of Madness is a great opener with a swingy, waltzy riff that recalls some of the style of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. Don’t miss the creative guitar and bass lead, when the two play off of each other in polyphonic melodies.
Just a Feeling slows things down, with a much softer feel and more pastoral vocals that have a lot in common with the dreamier style of Sleepy Sun. The song has a beautiful blending of melodies between the vocals and guitar.
Water Moccasin returns to a classic surf sound with that characteristic tremolo on the guitar and several tasty guitar leads. The song is instrumental, with the vocals occasionally appearing with wordless melodies in the background. The phasing, chunky bass sounds great paired with the drums which create a tumbling, wave crashing sound that adds to the watery feel of the song.
Everything in Sight is the longest track on the album. The track is driving, with fast proficient drum work and plenty of surfy changeups. The vocals are closer to the style of their first EP, with touches of Jim Morrison’s influence. The song features an extended, heavy psych ending with a tasty double guitar lead and a chunky, fuzzy bass tone.
Both of the bands EPs are available for free on Bandcamp, so make sure to download those today, and consider supporting the band. Also check out Snake Mountain Revival on Facebook as well as Instagram. Thank you for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
When I started The Sonic Sofa, I threw together a hasty photo of my sofa and added some words to create my logo. About a year later, I finally decided to com-mission some professional art to make the blog even more awesome. Finally, I’m proud to present to you, the reupholstered new look of The Sonic Sofa.
I had an idea of the look I wanted to achieve: a sci-fi feel, plenty of desert/stoner rock influence, and obviously a comfy sofa. I was introduced to an artist named Wina Obake who specializes in the kind of look I was going and after checking out her work, I knew that I had found the perfect artist for the project. She was able to turn my vague ideas into vivid reality, and I’m so proud of the results. Please check her work on Instagram and Kichink and consider supporting her by buying art. She can also be contacted by email at email@example.com.
In the months to come, please look for more big changes to The Sonic Sofa. I’m not going to give too much away, but the second season of the podcast is going to get an update, the blog is going to start having more content each week, and we are currently coming up with ad free ways of monetizing the blog. Stay tuned to the big changes in the second year of the blog and as always, go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.