Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Cassette Review: The Solid 7 Vol 1: UK Stoner Rock (Solid 7 Records)
[£5 // Edition of 50 // https://solid7records.bandcamp.com/album/the-solid-7-vol-1-uk-stoner-rock]
First and foremost I must admit that the concept behind this cassette is genius since this label is called Solid 7 Records and these are the first volume of seven solid bands on display for your listening pleasure. Each band has a song on each side, so two songs for each band and fourteen tracks overall, and the order of the bands on both sides is the same. This is just such a fun concept to me because it's like getting seven cassingles in one and though I'm not usually a fan of reviewing compilations this is not your typical compilation at all. If it was fourteen songs and fourteen bands I might feel a lot differently about writing this, but I actually had really been looking forward to writing this since I figured out the concept of it all.
The easiest thing to do here is going to be to give you a little information about each of the seven bands involved in "The Solid 7" (Which feels like a Tarantino movie) and up first is Jukebox Monkey. They really set the pace for this cassette as the first song of theirs is heavy on the drums, funky like Primus and big guitars like "Cult of Personality". Hints of metal (and Metallica) also do come out. Their second song is just as heavy and is full of just as much singing as well, but it strays away from that Metallica feel I imagined on Side A and instead gives off a vibe that can simply be called their own. So, yes, sometimes it only takes two songs to find your own metal/drum pounding voice in music.
Second up we have Lacertilia who are faster and have higher vocals than Jukebox Monkey. Big crunchy guitars and guitar solos remind me of Motorhead on the first song and on the second I can hear more guitar hooks as the chords become bass heavy. I particularly enjoy the line "Goodbye world, hello stranger".
Up third is Vimana and they are crunchy, grinding and psychedelic on their first song before heading off into a guitar solo. On Side B they have a song that definitely stands out on this cassette as it isn't quite like any of the others and perhaps the best thing I can relate it back to is "Higher Ground".
The fourth spot became very familiar to me as Sump channels "Barracuda" with their first song but also a bit of Blind Melon. When their second song came on during Side B right away I could recognize it as being by the same artist from Side A and knew we were in the fourth spot even without my notes. The second song by Sump is somewhat catchy but also has this driving guitar riff I do so enjoy. They are a band to look out for I'd say.
In the fifth spot is The Cortège who is another band that like Sump I could easily identify from Side A to Side B. The songs are frantic and full of bass, though the Side B song is distorted just as well. But the one thing that has me remembering them is that their vocals sound a bit like early Boy Sets Fire to me and I really dig that about this. I also enjoy the lines "It's still haunting me / and it knows my name".
Second to last is Suns of Thunder who have heavy clanking and gritty vocals on their first song. The vocals are gritty and it can remind me of something blue collar and a little bit of Bullets and Octane. The second offering is more of a Zeppelin into metal feel and it is called "Hey! I'm Walking Here", which you can hear several times during the song itself and it just strikes me as one of those things I subconsciously either say or think far too many times throughout the course of a day. It also needs to be spoken with a thick Italian accent.
Lastly we have Resurrection Men who are heavy but also not. They have bits of Primus and Sprung Monkey on their first song while the second is closer to Black Sabbath with some just killer guitar riffs. There is a great deal of instruments and just guitars to lead out the song and it just is a great way to end this cassette overall. It goes to show you that this wasn't just a matter of saying, "Hey, let's get two songs from everyone and throw them together". Some real effort and consideration went into the track listing as this is quite possibly the only fitting way for this to end.
Overall this is just a great compilation though I like to think of it more as a sevenway-cassingle to be fair (Though "compilation" just rolls off the tongue better) and it is somewhere between the soundtrack to the movie "Wayne's World" and just full of bands you know Chris Jericho would love. A great soundtrack to any adventure.