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.
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 Sirenswas 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 email@example.com. Thanks for reading The Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
Write about the band: Dimetrodon is a three piece instrumental rock band from Austin, Texas. Their music is a progressive blend of synthy heavy psych and stoner rock. The members of the band are Jim Lecheler on bass, Ian McKinney on synths and guitar, and Rene Moncivais on drums. Their debut album, II, was released on October 11, 2019.
According to a statement by the band, “The 12 instrumental tracks of Dimetrodon’s *II* loosely follow the story of a savage barbarian as he faces off against a wizard and his monster friends in the windswept deserts of Mars. Drawing from stoner, prog, proto-metal, krautrock, and other influences, *II* is a window into of the mind of a boomer dad describing the airbrushing on the cargo van he had back when he was your age.” The album has no lyrics, but the full-blooded song titles like are enough to put an interesting picture in your mind and the music itself will take you there. There are really heavy songs like Dragonslayer, Antimagic Field, and Bonestorm, but there are also plenty of of reflective, softer tracks like Ogre Horde and The Druid’s Funeral. The album is a virtual kaleidoscope of psychedelic sound textures, running the gamut from chunky stoner rock riffs to dreamy psychedelic synth tones.
1. Dragon’s Lair 1:57 2. Dragonslayer 4:14 3. Antimagic Field 6:18 4. Ogre Horde 5:03 5. The Druid’s Funeral 3:16 6. Finger of Death 4:30 7. Hobgoblin 2:37 8. Stalactites 2:32 9. ☠️Bonestorm☠️ 2:40 10. Dispel Evil and Good 2:19 11. Sunbeam 2:13 12. Grimlock 2:52
The whole album sounds like something that could have been produced in a garage in the 70’s. You can hear early doom influences from Black Sabbath and Electric Wizard as well as krautrock such as Neu! and Amon Duul II. You can also hear healthy doses of modern psych as well as synth-forward film score influence peppered into the mixture. Whether you’re you’re perusing Frank Frazetta paintings, playing Dungeons and Dragons, or just putting on music for a spacey drive in the car, Dimetrodon makes a great soundtrack. Purchase a digital download of the album today on Bandcamp for $7. Also, make sure to check out the band on Facebook and Instagram. As always, thanks 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Podcast Transcript: I’m The Purlenaut and you’ve landed on the Sonic Sofa, your home for stoner rock reviews and podcasts. Check out thesonicsofa.blog to read lots of articles and hear some awesome music. This month, we’ll be scientifically analyzing some extraterrestrial music specimens by Torche, Lewis and the Strange Magics, and Howling Giant. We’re in for a heavy ride, so buckle up, become one with The Sofa, and prepare for liftoff.
First up is Torche. Torche is a four-piece heavy metal band from from Miami, Florida. Their music has got heavy riffs and harmonic vocals. The band formed in 2004 and have released five full lengths and four EPs. Released by Relapse Records on July 12, Admission is their fifth album and it’s an absolute juggernaut. Here’s a track called Times Missing.
That was Torche with the song, Times Missing, off of their new album, Admission. Next up, on The Sonic Sofa, is Lewis and the Strange Magics. They’re a heavy-psych band from Barcelona, Spain. The band produces groovy, stylish, psychedelic music, with strong funk and jam undercurrents. The band just released their third full length, Melvin’s Holiday. It was released on September 6, 2019. It’s a concept album made up of nine, 1960’s and 70’s inspired, tracks that tell the story of Melvin, a rich man who divorces his wife and takes off on holiday in the Mediterranean, where he seeks happiness but finds only loneliness. Here’s a track from that album called Sad in Paradise.
And that was Sad in Paradise, from the new album Melvin’s Holiday, by Lewis and the Strange Magics. Up next, on The Sonic Sofa, is Howling Giant. After three solid EP’s, the Nashville, TN band has released their debut album, adding to their consistently heavy and creative catalogue of sci-fi influenced stoner-rock. Released on September 27th, The Space Between Worlds continues the band’s tradition of producing tight, heavy music with melodic vocals that tell an epic science fiction narrative. According to a statement by the band, the new album “is a concept album that follows the story of a huntress who travels the infinite metaphysical worlds brought into being by the dreams of humankind. In these realms, she encounters a dream eater which threatens to unravel the fabric of reality by devouring dreamers and destroying the dimensional gateways.” So there we go. Here’s a track from that album called Comet Rider.
And that was Howling Giant with the song, Comet Rider, from their new album, The Space Between Worlds. Thanks for listening to the Sonic Sofa podcast. Check out the Sonic Sofa on mixcloud.com/purlenaut and thesonicsofa.blog. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music or an artist that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at email@example.com. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
It’s difficult to believe that The Space Between Worldsis in fact Howling Giant’s first full length album. After three solid EP’s, the Nashville, TN band has released their debut album, adding to their consistently heavy and creative catalogue of sci-fi influenced stoner-rock. Released on September 27th, The Space Between Worlds was preceded by the epic pair of Black Hole Space Wizard Parts 1 & 2 EP’s in 2016 and 2017, and the self-titled Howling GiantEP in 2015, which was remastered in March of this year.
On the new album, the band continues in their tradition of producing tight, heavy music with melodic vocals that tell an epic science fiction narrative. If you’re a fan of bands like Sleep, The Sword, or Torche, you’re going to dig the unique hybrid of those sounds that Howling Giant creates. Since the last release, core members Tom Polzine (Guitars/Vocals) and Zach Wheeler (Drums/Vocals) are joined by new bassist and vocalist, Sebastian Balten. Drew Harakal again lends his keyboard talents which really help to fill out and solidify the band’s sound with a consistent organ presence and many tasty synth tones.
According to a statement by the band, the new album “is a concept album that follows the story of a huntress who travels the infinite metaphysical worlds brought into being by the dreams of humankind. In these realms, she encounters a dream eater which threatens to unravel the fabric of reality by devouring dreamers and destroying the dimensional gateways.” The great thing about Howling Giant’s approach to sci-fi is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They take an almost comic, Mystery Science Theater 3,000 approach to the content, but then out of nowhere, they’ll touch on something that resounds with the listener in a visceral, emotional way. In short, the sci-fi adds to the experience big time. Here’s the track-list for the album:
1. Comet Rider 4:30 2. Nomad 5:10 3. Ghosts in the Well 2:42 4. The River Guide 5:43 5. Ice Castle 4:37 6. Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express 4:04 7. Everlight 7:57 8. The Orb 7:08 9. Stone Giant 6:17
Vocals and Lyrics: All three members of the band lend their vocal talents, creating beautiful three-part harmonies throughout and are notably catchy on tracks like the opener, Comet, and the sword and sorcery influenced track, Ice Castle, which also features guest vocals by Jason Shi of ASG. The rhythm of the vocals is carefully measured and timed, oftentimes giving the vocals a chant-like quality. A good example of this is the track, Everlight, which even features OM chants. The River Guide is the only track to feature a spoken word narrative, which the album thankfully does not rely heavily upon as in past releases. The vocals can also at times be catchy and hilarious, and you’ll find yourself singing along to lyrics like, “The cables are connecting to my face,” as well as, “My engines run on fuel-injected rage,” on Cybermancer and the Doomsday Express.
The guitars are diverse throughout the album, from heavy and driving tracks like The Orb, Everlight, to layers of acoustics on Ghosts in the Well. Also, don’t miss the heavy, chugging guitar riffs, evident on tracks like Nomad and Stone Giant, which also has a killer double guitar lead. There are awesome leads throughout, and the way the walls of guitars blend with the grinding organ is awesome.
The keyboards sound amazing throughout. They provide a wide range of tones from grinding organs like in the opener, Comet, to sci-fi sounding synth interludes such as in The River Guide. The great thing about all of the keyboard layers is that they complement the songs and the other instruments and add vital layers of texture that, though they don’t always stand out, would be sorely missed if absent.
The rhythm section is powerful, consisting of hard driving drums and an amazingly deep and heavy bass. The drums creatively fill most available free space with all kinds of awesome fills and double kick blast beat action. The drums utilize a full set of toms, range from high pitches to thunderously low ones, but there’s also an obvious awareness of when things need to be simplified to make the song even heavier. The bass pairs perfectly with the drums, sometimes creating a tribal quality, like on Everlight. The bass even takes the spotlight with a slow and heavy bass solo on the track, Stone Giant, propelling the song into one of the heavy riffs on the album.
The band has some great merch to go along with the new release, including black and yellow color merge vinyl for U.S. orders, translucent green for UK/Euro orders, CD’s, and a brand new T-Shirt design by Joe Gettler. Their products are going fast. You can find the band on Bandcamp, as well as Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram. Thank you for reading the Sonic Sofa. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
Lemmy Saves is a four-piece stoner rock band from Itabuna, in the state of Bahia, Brazil. They produce heavy, fuzzy rock, with aggressive but melodic lyrics. The band has two releases: a slightly rough live demo from 2015 called Until the Light Takes Us, and their more refined August, 2019 single, Stoner Days. Both are available for free or “name your price” on Bandcamp.
Stoner Days is a track that’s all about, you guessed it, consuming the band’s favorite plant. According to a statement from the band, Stoner Days is, “A journey through the nostalgia of youth, and an attempt to bring the sound and feel of the comings and goings of their lives on the beautiful coast of Bahia, Brasil.” Clocking in at just three minutes and 13 seconds, the song makes a good addition to your stoner rock playlist, so pick up this free track today and get rocking. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
Podcast Transcript: I’m The Purlenaut and you’ve landed on the Sonic Sofa, your home for stoner rock reviews and podcasts. Check out thesonicsofa.blog to read lots of articles and hear some awesome music. This month, we’ve got some new mystical music by Babylon Tree, the psychedelic aura of Circus Cannon, and the head banging hard rock of King of None. So buckle up. Become one with the Sofa, and prepare for liftoff.
First up on the show is Babylon Tree, an instrumental heavy psych band from Athens, Greece. The six member band recently released their debut album, Eastern Tales, which came out on May 30th. On it, the band attempts to capture the sound and aesthetic of the Far-East. Their music is positively Middle-Eastern sounding, employing the use of Persian scales. The album is made up of six songs, each around 8-10 minutes, and each is a richly layered composition. Here’s the second track, called Dunes and Wind.
And that was Dunes and Wind by Babylon Tree, from their debut album, Eastern Tales. Next on the Sonic Sofa, is Circus Cannon, a powerful four-piece psych band from London. The band honed their sound while rehearsing in unused buildings, and ended up producing a sound that is both unique and eclectic. They draw from powerful influences, but produce a sound that’s unique and which adds diversity to the genre. The band’s newest independent release, Ashmedai, came out on July 4th, and is available for free or “name your price” on Bandcamp. Ashmedai contains four songs, each very different from each other, but tied together by the common threads of riffs, trippy guitar leads, heavy bass, and pounding drums. Here’s the fourth track from the EP, Wendigo.
You just heard Circus Cannon with the song Wendigo, from the new EP, Ashmedai. Wrapping up the show is King of None, a hard-rock band from Helsinki, Finland. They produce riffy hard rock, with plenty of stoner and prog-rock elements. Weightless Waters, released on April 28, 2019, is composed of six heavy songs. It’s a high energy ride that is arguably their most polished, mature EP to date. The songs range from four and a half to seven minutes. Each song is crisp and tight and it’s a headbanging, hard rock ride from start to finish. Here’es the second track from the EP, called Worlds Collide.
And that was King of None with Worlds Collide, from their EP, Weightless Waters. Thanks for listening to the Sonic Sofa podcast. Check out the Sonic Sofa on mixcloud.com/purlenaut and thesonicsofa.blog. Please support the bands by buying their music and merch. If you have music or an artist that you think should be featured on the blog or podcast, contact The Purlenaut at firstname.lastname@example.org. Go in peace and rock on, Sofanauts.
Torche is a four-piece heavy metal band from from Miami, Florida. Their music is characterized by heavy riffs and catchy, harmonic vocals. The band formed in 2004 and have released five full lengths and four EPs. Original members include Steve Brooks on guitar and vocals, Jonathan Nuñez who switched from bass to guitar duties in 2016, and Rick Smith on drums. The group was also joined in 2016 by bass player, Eric Hernandez, who made his first recording with the band on the new album, Admission.
“an absolute juggernaut”
Released by Relapse Records (known for producing such bands as Baroness and High on Fire) on July 12, Admission is the fifth album by Torche, following Restarter in Feb, 2015. The band released several singles during the weeks counting down to the new release, as well as new media content such as a music video for Admission, and a videologue look inside the studio. The album can be bought on standard black vinyl, CD, cassette, or digital download on their Bandcamp page. Also, check out the band’s website for even more merch, tour info, and information about the band.
The entire album is an absolute juggernaut. The songs tend to be shorter than other bands in the genre, but the abbreviated quality makes the album more listenable, and perhaps will leave the listener wanting more, or at the very least, repeat listens. The bass and guitar tones are magnificent, tuned low and overdriven. Melodic vocals harmonize over the hypnotic riffs, and the drums hold the entire album down, with pounding, creative beats. Heavy, distorted riffs fluidly meld with catchy, “pop” sensibilities in the way that only Torche has done for the past 15 years.
From Here opens the album, pounding eardrums with its relentless force and high energy. Other fast-paced headbangers on the album include What Was, with almost subsonic bass notes and creative drumming, and Extremes of Consciousness, which plods forward with driving guitars, and complementing fuzzy bass.
Among some of the poppier songs on the album are Slide, Times Missing, Admission and Changes Come. Slide has intensly catchy riffs and vocal harmonies, yet still finds the opportunity to explore some progressive off-time sections later in the song. Times Missing slows things down with a simpler chord progression and incredible vocal harmonies over the droning guitars and slick musical turnarounds. A poppy beat on Admission propels the song forward, and the lyrics are more contemplative and self-reflecting. Changes Come, the album’s closer, wraps the album up with an incredibly uplifting tone amidst phasing guitars.
“almost impossibly slow and heavy”
Some of the slowest, heaviest moments on the album are toward the end of the album, with the back to back songs On the Wire, and Infierno. On the Wire combines doom-like riffs, with stark, high-pitched guitar harmonies. Infierno is an almost impossibly slow and heavy track, which will test your subwoofers to the limit.
Other notable tracks on the album are Submission and Reminder. Submission has amazingly melodic vocals, with crashing cymbals and trance like repetition of the riff, reaching a fever pitch at the end. Beatles-esque vocal harmonies, paired with swinging, heavy riffs, abound on Reminder.
Torche has once again proven that they can release music which is both incredibly heavy as well as incredibly listenable, while staying consistent with the sound of the band’s previous albums. Admission is an intense musical journey, and listeners will find more beauty in the details with each listen. Make sure to listen to the album all the way through to fully appreciate the arrangement and balanced quality of the LP as a whole.