Feel This, the groovy new album by Crobot

Feel This was released on June 3, 2022

There are many keywords that could describe Crobot: stoner rock, glam, dirty grooves, heavy riffs, grungy action, attitude. The truth is Crobot embodies all of these and more. The four piece group from Pottsville, PA has been violently administering heavy grooves since 2011 and are back with their fifth full length, Feel This. The album delivers in classic Crobot style, with riffs and high-flying vocals on 12 heavy, headbanging tracks.

1. Electrified 4:00
2. Dizzy 3:32
3. Set You Free 3:31
4. Better Times 3:33
5. Golden 3:57
6. Without Wings 4:35
7. Livin’ on the Streets 3:02
8. Into the Fire 3:04
9. Dance with the Dead 2:59
10. Holy Ghost 3:17
11. Never Break Me 3:24
12. Staring Straight Into the Sun 4:56

Vocalist, Brandon Yeagley, and guitarist, Chris Bishop, are the founding members of the group, carrying forth the vision of the band with renewed passion on Feel This, which was released in June. Yeagley’s impressive vocal range is well displayed on opener, Electrified, a fight song with a shock of adrenaline and fast paced riffs. If any of the tracks could be called a stadium anthem, it might be Set You Free, with it’s nice key board accents and catchy vocal hooks. Yeagley’s lyrics are laced with wit and wordplay, like on the Motley Crue-esque Livin’ on the Streets and the catchy, classic rock sounding track, Dance With the Dead. On riffs, Bishop’s guitars sound crunchy and groovy. Listen for his unique signature guitar effects, notable on the opener, the grungy track Golden, and Holy Ghost, which features lots of cool, heavy changeups. Dizzy features slower, dirtier riffs and a quick Tom Morello style solo. Don’t miss Bishop’s extended solo on closer, Staring Straight Into the Sun, which also features a fast changeup and extended jam at the end.

Crobot formed in 2011

Dan Ryan joined in 2018 and recorded drums on Motherbrain and bassist, Tim Peugh, joined the band in 2021. Ryan’s drumming is rock solid, perfectly synced with Peugh’s growly bass tone. Listen for some tight transitions on Better Times, and don’t miss that super heavy, progressive ending on Without Wings. Hang on for the ride on headbangers like Into the Fire, Holy Ghost, which features some impressive drum fills, and Never Break Me, another attitude filled track which highlights Peugh’s awesome bass tone.

Feel this is available for streaming and digital download on Bandcamp for under $9. It’s also available on transparent red and multi-color splatter vinyl, as well as CD, on their merch page. Interact with the band on social media and check out their live dates for an incredibly energetic, action-packed live show. I got to see Crobot in January, 2014, at Club Fever in South Bend, IN, opening for The Sword and Clutch. I was completely blown away by their insane level of charisma and energy. I got to meet Yeagley at the merch table after the show for a quick chat. I was impressed with how much of an animal he was on stage and how chill, down to Earth, and generally kind he was as a human. If you get a chance to witness Crobot live, don’t pass the opportunity.

Tour Dates

Aug 19 Psycho Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV

Dec 16 Royal Circus (Cirque Royal/Koninklijk Circus) – Brussels, Belgium

Dec 21 O2 Victoria Warehouse – Manchester, UK

Dec 22 O2 Academy Brixton – London, UK

Electric Mountain release high voltage desert rock album, Valley Giant

Valley Giant was released on May 27, 2022

The week, The Sonic Sofa travels to Mexico City for desert rock band Electric Mountain’s second full length release. The power trio burst onto the scene in 2013 with their classic rock influenced stoner rock sound, infused with plenty of high octane desert riffs. They put on a loud, headbanging show and have shared stages with Elder and Blackwater Holylight. Electric Mountain released their Self-Titled debut album in 2017. After a two-year hiatus, they’re back with their sophomore full length, Valley Giant, and it is well worth the wait.

Valley Giant was released in May on Electric Valley Records. It features beautiful extraterrestrial landscape art by Adam Burke of Nightjar Illustration. The album is nine tracks, clocking in at 46 minutes, though some streaming platforms include a tenth track, The Man. Throughout the record, the musicians blend a riffy blend of desert rock guitars and melodic vocals with a growly, driving rhythm section. What makes the album awesome are all of the extended, stoner rock turnarounds and classic rock breaks. It opens with short, heavy-blues intro, The Great Hall, and is a non-stop action ride until the lengthy and spacy closer, A Thousand Miles High. Filled with headbangers from start to finish, the album only slows down for a slight breather on the acoustic, At Last Everything, which also features some tasty vocal harmonies and hand percussion.

Electric Mountain formed in 2013

1. The Great Hall (Intro) 2:38
2. Outlanders 3:53
3. Morning Grace 5:14
4. Void 4:09
5. A Fistful of Grass 6:32
6. Desert Ride 5:00
7. Vulgar Planet 5:09
8. At Last Everything 4:31
9. A Thousand Miles High 8:41

Guitarist/vocalist Gibran Pérez pumps out the jams with fuzzy, heavy-blues riffs, and scorching solos infused with plenty of wah-pedal and phaser, and caps it off with clean, melodic vocals, that I felt like were reminiscent of early Sabbath, and possibly even Corrosion of Conformity. Drummer Max Cabrera keeps things solid and driving with some absolute balls to the walls drum beats and fills. Listen to the end of Outlanders for some Bonham-esque fills, and check out Desert Ride for some driving, desert rock drum-power. Jorge Trejo’s bass tone really stands out on the album, with a beefy tone, often spaced out with heavy wah-pedal action. Check out Morning Grace for a fat, fuzzed out bass tone, and listen for some compelling leads during on A Thousand Miles High.

You can find Valley Giant on Bandcamp. The digital album can be downloaded for $7. It is also available on CD for $7.50 as well as beautiful transparent purple or plain black vinyl for $23. Check out Electric Mountain’s social media for news and announcements.

Sageness delivers third full length, Tr3s

Tr3s was released on May 15, 2022

Sageness is an instrumental psychedelic rock band from León, Spain. The power trio treats their music with an infusion of post-rock and shoegaze guitar work, and live recording in the studio gives them a fresh, raw sound. The group has just released their third album, the aptly titled Tr3s. It’s a mature, well-developed follow-up to 2019’s Akmé (Full review here) and their Self-titled album from 2017.

1. The Effect of Colours 9:45
2. Greenhouse 8:04
3. Spirit Machine 6:16
4. Event horizon 12:22

Tr3s is composed of four tracks, clocking in at 37 minutes. Throughout the album, muscular riffs and sensual guitar textures, infused with plenty of wah-pedal and shoe-gaze FX, are underscored by a crisp, clean bass sound, and solid drum patterns. Subtle, spacy synth sounds add to the atmosphere. The album is a further testament to Sageness’s skill as a well-rehearsed jam band. The long, creative arrangements at times remind me of Elder, in the vein of their instrumental album, The Gold & Silver Sessions, but with more of the muscle of Dead Roots Stirring. Whether you’re on a road trip or sonic tripping on the sofa, Tr3s is an ideal soundtrack. It’s got plenty of headbanging as well as spacy post-rock introspection.

You can find Sageness on Bandcamp. The digital album is available for download for $7. Tr3s is also on CD for $9 or vinyl for $25. Ceck out the band’s social media and merch pages for vinyl/t-shirt bundle deals, and don’t forget to check out the music videos for The Effect of Colours and Spirit Machine.

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

Ancient Nug: New single by Telekinetic Yeti

Primordial is set for release on July 8, 2022

Telekinetic Yeti is a two-piece stoner rock band from Dubuque, Iowa. Formed in 2015, the band was started by singer and guitarist, Alex Baumann. Abominable, the band’s first album, was released in March 2017. The heavy album is brilliantly arranged and packs a major punch that rewards repeat listens. After that release, the band began touring heavily, sharing stages with giants such as Weedeater, Truckfighters, 1000 Mods, Red Fang, and Clutch.

After a change of drummers and with five years since their first release, the duo will finally release their second album, Primordial, an album they’ve been sitting on since 2020. It’s their first album signed with Tee Pee Records. The new single, Ancient Nug, picks up where Abominable left off. It has chunky guitar riffs, complex drumbeats, melodic, guttural vocals, plenty of changeups, and don’t miss that heavy down-tempo outro.

It was released as a music video, featuring the duo rocking out onstage in an old church. Guitarist Baumann explained, “This song is about searching for meaning and purpose amidst the ubiquitous suffering we endure. It’s also about something long lost being rediscovered, and the resonating ripples of butterfly effects from the ancient past that affect all life today. We really liked filming in this location because it had such a meditative and surreal quality to it. We felt that it fit the themes of the song well.”

The album can be pre-ordered on black or purple vinyl for $25 or on CD for $13. Check out the music video and get hyped for the new album! Also, look for Telekinetic Yeti at a handful of shows in May, including Desertfest NYC.

MAY 12 Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH

MAY 14 Middle East – Boston, MA

MAY 15 Desertfest NYC – New York, NY

A Frog in the Bog: The heavy split album by Froglord and Bog Wizard

A Frog in the Bog was released on April 1, 2022

A Frog in the Bog is the concept record collaboratively produced by the UK’s Froglord and Michigan’s Bog Wizard. The two stoner doom bands, known for their D&D style narratives, came together from across the Atlantic expanse to document the meeting of the reclusive Bog Wizard and the god-like Frog Lord, resulting in magical and smoky adventures in the depths of the bog.

Bog Wizard starts the album with two tracks, Reptilian Death Squad and Frog Lord, whose doomy riffs and tortured, operatic vocals document the Frog Lord and and his followers’ invasion of the marsh, and of a magical interaction with the Wizard of the Bog, mostly from the Wizard’s perspective.

BOW DOWN TO THE POWER OF THE FROG LORD

Froglord provides the next two tracks, The Bog, and The Wizard. They tell the tale from the perspective of the Frog Lord, attempting to convert Bog Wizard to his cult, and then preparing to do battle. Don’t miss the gnarly blast beats on The Wizard, and keep an ear out for movie sound-bytes, including one from Labyrinth, during the two tracks.

The final track, The Bog Wizard, featuring both bands, tells the epic and surprising tale of the final encounter. Who will win the equally matched battle or will the slimy bog take them both? Listen to the album and experience the full smoky climax to find out what happens.

There’s a lot to like from these two bands and this album. First, the contributions by both bands as well as their song collaborations gives the album a fun mixtape kind of feel, yet with the benefit of having a cohesive narrative, and the retro, 16-bit album art by Benjamin Blåholtz is a great throwback. The digital album can be found on Bandcamp where it is also available on vinyl, CD, and cassette while supplies last. Also check out the merch page for all kinds of cool gear, including album art prints, stickers and patches.

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.