NEBULA ‘To The Center’ (Reissue) Review.

Words El Jefe.

So when Eddie and Ruben split from Fu, and subsequently hooked up with former Fu bassist, Mark Abshire, to form Nebula, you could assume they would be strutting a similar path to Fu Manchu, albeit with a different songwriting stance, you know, due to being different songwriters etc. And there ARE similarities, but that’s not to say Nebula aren’t / weren’t their own unique entity. Leaning more to the psych-rock side of the spectrum, and capped of with Romano’s heavily Bonham-esque drumming, they released a slew of awesome EP’s and albums. And because we’re a deserving bunch of motherfuckers, Heavy Psych Sounds have very kindly reissued a whole bunch of Nebula records. Good news for fans old and new. I myself have finally (or will have once the order arrives!) landed the Nebula classic To The Center on good ol’ fashioned vinyl. My CD version has been played too many times to count and remains a firm contender for the El Jefe Ultimate Top 25. So now, eighteen years or so after I first bought it, I get a shot at reviewing it. And it’s Saturday! Continue reading

FU MANCHU ‘Clone Of The Universe’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.
Photo John Gilhooley.

Fu Manchu. A band who, along with the likes of Nebula, Monster Magnet and Kyuss set the scene for the scores of stoner bands who followed in their wake, and have never themselves dropped a beat with their own output. And with barely a lineup change this millennium, they sound as solid as fuck, too.

With this latest blast of sonic mayhem, Clone Of The Universe, we see Fu Manchu crack open the Holy Riff Bible and write a new chapter. No mean feat for a band who have been cranking out behemoth riffs for over thirty fucking years. Clone is their twelfth album, and is right up there with the classic Fu records like Eatin’ Dust and California Crossing. Continue reading

BORRACHO ‘Riffography’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe

Stoner rock power trio Borracho have had a busy 12 months; releasing two full-length LP’s in this period and they’ve backed up the excellent Atacama with Riffography, and it’s yet another grease and dirt road trip from hell.

Soundwise, Borracho are a gutsy and powerful unit, heavy on both grooves and distortion. And they know when to pull back as well as when to drop the clutch and hammer the riff home too. Supremely cohesive songwriting coupled with their playing always makes for a great album as well.

Riffography opens with the ball-tearing ‘Rectify’, and is quickly backed up with ‘Circulos Concentricos’, a re-recording of ‘Concentric Circles’ from their 2011 debut, Splitting Skies, and given a Spanish facelift and a great mangled guitar attack. Continue reading

MYRKUR ‘Mareridt’ Album Review.

Words Will Oakeshott.

Amalie Bruun, better known as Black Metal multi-instrumentalist Myrkur has been the subject of both global praise and repulsive condemnation in her short three year existence creating magnificent music under the moniker. Having received atrocious death threats after the success of her exquisite debut LP M, Ms. Bruun utilised this animosity to provoke her creativity and the result is her astonishing sophomore record Mareridt.

Title and opening track ‘Mareridt’, the initiation into her artistic response and journey to the Earth’s reaction to the organic design that is Myrkur, acts as a spiritual calling; an invitation for her followers and adorers to come close to safety from the storm that is the banishment she is about to afflict on her adversaries. In retrospect it is a historic “Kulning” call and it honestly defies beauty. Continue reading

HYPERGIANT ‘Father Sky’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Sydney based stoner metal four-piece Hypergiant have been kicking around the scene for several years now. I first caught ‘em a few years back during their infancy, and already with a set of fairly decent heavy rock songs and some covers by the likes of Mastodon and The Sword thrown in, which left no doubt as to the bands’ parentage. They released an EP, Planet Cracker 2-3 years back, and it was a cool collection of tunes. But flash-forward to Father Sky, and there is a very different beast stalking the scene. The songs are brutal, and the production is mature, well-thought out and effective and should also see these dudes garner some well-deserved attention. They’ve interspersed their powerful metal bludgeon with an aural soundscape suited to an alien horror film, which certainly adds colour to their stylistic attack. Continue reading

FIREBALL MINISTRY ‘Remember The Story’ Album Review.

Words El Jefe.

Fireball Ministry are back in town with their brand spankin’ new LP, Remember The Story tucked under their (collective) arms. It’s been several years between drinks too, and this is also the first album with Scott Reeder (Kyuss, Sun and Sail Club, The Obsessed)) holdin’ the low-end down for the group. His fluid bass runs certainly add to the stadium rock that FM are renowned for too.

‘End Of Our Truth’ slow-groove rock slithers and shakes through some catchy licks, and some nice guitar action too.

The production team got a bit a workout on ‘Everything You Wanted’ with some effects trickery tossed in during the breakdown. Continue reading

HOUSE OF BROKEN PROMISES ‘Twisted’ EP Review.

Words El Jefe.

So here comes a new release from House Of Broken Promises. Those who know would know. Guitarist / vocalist Arthur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino have done time with Unida, one of John Garcia’s post Kyuss projects. Their debut LP, Using The Useless was a stoner beast. Raw, wild and unstoppable. Just the way I like it! They have been joined in recent years by Joe Mora on bass / vocals (replacing Eddie Placencia), and they have just rolled the Twisted EP off the production line. Four new tracks (two covers) plus some bonus tracks. I think I heard rumours of a new full-length in the pipeline too. But that’s a different story!

‘Twisted’ is the first of the new material, a classic HOBP tune, kicked off with a carnivale-esque drum roll before the vibe-y bass assault and Seay’s blasting stoner-metal guitar leap into the fray. Great bass tone on this too. For all you bassists out there! Catchy chorus too. Continue reading

COSMIC KAHUNA ‘Paintstripper’ Album Review.

Words Mark Ireland.

Straight out of the gate Cosmic Kahuna get to work, no fucking around. ‘Fault in the AE–35 Unit’ pummels the listener into submission with no apologies.

Get back in the ring, wait to regain consciousness and then the track ‘Muzzle’ will be hard and sharp steel cap to the head. If you can see straight after this track, try and shake it off and
head straight into ‘Hazy Cosmic Jive’.

‘Gossamer’ is a deep sludge fest. It’s impossible not to get caught in the riffs. Like quicksand, it sucks you in and refuses to let go.

This is one hell of a relentless album, it doesn’t let go for a microsecond. If you’re a fan of ’80s hardcore bands this is right up your alley. It’s the kind of album you would play if you were on a work site and were in charge of demolition; just start the wrecking ball and smash shit until there is nothing left but dust. Continue reading

PROPHETS OF RAGE Self-titled Debut Album Review.

Words Mark Ireland.
Photo Travis Shinn.

In the mid ’90s there was not one single band that was more political than Rage Against The Machine, their self-titled album was like a punch in the throat while be being suffocated. Their militancy and strong lyrics made crowds think that shit could be changed, everything that they sang about they backed it up with passion and knowledge, there wasn’t an inch of fakery about them.

So when it was announced that 3/4 of Rage (Tom Morello – guitar, Brad Wilk – drums, and Tim Commerford – bass) were teaming up with hip hop heavy weights Public Enemy‘s Chuck D (vocals) and DJ Lord (turntables) and Cypress Hill‘s B-Real (vocals), to form Prophets of Rage (named after a Public Enemy track) it was like the Messiah had returned. Continue reading

BEN ELY ‘Strange Tales of Drugs & Lost Love’ Album Review.

Words Mark Ireland.

Ben Ely is best known for playing bass with Regurgitator for over 20 years. The Gurge are well known for their irreverent sense of humour and pop punk tunes, so when I heard the first track ‘1988’, which is a beautiful dark tune about Ely growing up in Brisbane, it completely floored me. It’s a deep and personal story about Ely and his mates first adventures of going to punk rock shows and getting into fights with bouncers and thugs.

I was definitely not expecting this kind of album at all, and to be honest, Strange Tales of Drugs & Lost Love nailed me to the wall from the first track onward. Ely’s introspective story telling about his adolescent growing up in Brisbane is like an open wound, his personal honesty is incredibly raw and poetic. Continue reading