BongCauldron – BongCauldron EP

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BongCauldron
BongCauldron EP
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Hailing from Leeds, Jay (drums, aka drunken bog dweller), Biscuit (guitar, relentless Squatch hunter), and Ben (bass, abominable cave goblin), make up the sludge power trio BongCauldron. One look at the name of this band will tell you everything you need to know about what they’re going to sound like, and what they’re likely to sing about. That doesn’t make them any less deserving of your attention or your judgment. The fact is, BongCauldron serves up an addictive stew of stoner rock, sludge metal, and boogie, on their debut s/t EP. It won’t surprise you greatly, at least not lyrically, but the band know how to jam through tracks such as ‘Tree Wizard’, which contain equal amounts of groove and gruff aggression. There is some neat variation between songs though, with the single ‘Up’ a hearty display of riff and reverb, the speedy blasts of ‘Vehemence’, and the Sabbathian sounds of ‘Gimp Jig’. Overall, it’s a pleasing body of work, falling somewhere between Wo Fat, High on Fire, and of course, Sabbath, given a slightly rough production job to maximise the distortion and drive in every bludgeoning groove. These five tracks will firmly establish the band within the swellings of the UK underground, surely pleasing these hungry swamp creatures.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘BongCauldron’ here (CD/download)
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Groan – Ride the Snake

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Groan
Ride the Snake
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Fun loving doom rockers Groan return here in time for Chrimbo with a new five track EP, ‘Ride the Snake‘. If you’re familiar with Groan you’ll know what to expect, and for the uninitiated, take a trip back into the late 70s/early 80s, only that you’ve taken the modern day scene through a time machine and you’ve pretty much got this band. Riff wise, ‘Ride the Snakekicks arse. The main riff to the lead single ‘Women of Doom’ is big, chunky and full of raw power, and tracks such as ‘Drug Lord’, with the inclusion of gang vocals at the beginning and a rollicking riff, show the band’s versatility between slow doomy trips and straight-up rock monsters. The guitarists here throw some scintillating solos into the mix and really are the driving force of this band Vocalist Andreas Mazzareth reminds me a little of Ronnie James Dio – nowhere near a master thespian as the late metal god but his delivery has a mix of straight up 70s hell rocker and Dio at his encapsulating, soaring best. The only letdown is that lyrically it’s not very inventive at times – perhaps the only thing here that for me really prevents ‘Ride the Snake‘ as being great, instead of ‘rather good’. Still, you can’t sniff at this – Groan come with a solid reputation, which is strengthening with every release, and they are sure to satisfy their growing army of followers with this swaggering record.

Peter Clegg

Buy/download ‘Ride the Snake‘ here (name-your-price download/CD)
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Visions: Vodun – Oya

It’s been a while since I constructed a Visions post, either because I haven’t been bothered or because most rock and metal videos weren’t interesting me any more. Well take a look at this! London trio Vodun, whose excellent ‘Eat Up The Sun‘ EP was recently reviewed here, have dropped the creepy and rocking video for ‘Oya’, where an outpatient is drawn towards the band upon which she encounters some rotten vegetables and eventually a out-of-body experience courtesy of the voodoo ritual that seems to be taking place. You don’t see much of the band but you don’t need to – ‘Oya’s power lies in its well scripted video, in which you can at least just about follow what’s going on. It’s also a mighty shock as well when the song kicks in. And I’m not talking about the song itself, which is thoroughly, brilliantly soulful rock once again.

‘Oya’ is out now via the band’s Bandcamp page for £1 or more, with a remix of the single, by Amatuer, as the b-side.

Peter Clegg

Vodun – Eat Up The Sun

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Vodun
Eat Up The Sun
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Does anyone here in the room remember Invasion, the London three-piece who created bowel-shaking psychedelic noises and all manner of enchanting soul ruckus? It seemed they disappeared without much of a trace following the release of 2009’s widely-hailed debut ‘The Master Alchemist’, but through the power of voodoo, it seems, two thirds of that band (drummer Zel and songstress Chan) have returned as Vodun, a body shaking, soul grooving heavy rock machine, adding Oli from Arrows of Love on guitar to complete their triumvirate.

Starting with a passage on how ‘voodoo has given woman the power…to distinguish her from humans of all other forms‘, the title-track kicks in and Chan’s delightfully soulful vocals kick in over the booming low-end riffs and pounding drums. This is followed up quickly by the thrilling ‘Red Flag’, a fast-paced high octane ride with some simple yet effective organ over the top of the motoring riff. The bluesy shake of ‘Erzulie’ pops up next, one of the highlights of the EP as Chan declares ‘don’t bow down/I’m not your saviour/I’m not your Jesus/But I bear your cross’, even laughing at the end of the bridge section to show just how this band enjoys creating this sound as much as we, the listener, should enjoy it. By the end it seems the hocus takes over, as ‘Zaka’ reaches its conclusion, as the band play out a doomy riff underneath Chan’s building wail, not unlike an unholy summoning of the voodoo gods. Its not quite the equivalent of perfection, but this is without question one of the releases of the year so far. So much so, I reckon they wouldn’t sound out of place on ‘Later Live with Jools Holland’. Can we make this happen? Please?

Peter Clegg

Download ‘Eat Up the Sun’ here
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