dinsdag 29 juli 2014

Acid Elephant – Star Collider



Acid Elephant – Star Collider
Kiarama Records – 2013
Rock, Stoner, Space, Psych, Drone
Rated: ***

Plagued with many line-up changes and health issues these lumbering giants who hail from that lovely town of Pori in Finland, home to a great and lovely jazz festival, have a resolve to keep trekking, always further and always harder. As a result the Acid Elephant released its fourth effort (counting EP’s and live albums) Star Collider at the tail end of 2013. Which starts of as a definite march and stomping saunter on the first two tracks. Las Noches Del Desierto and Red Carpet Lane have you loving these beasts instantly and wanting to stroke them. Repeatedly. After which the free form psychedelic space rock takes over. It is their natural state. The electric meditational swamp that drags you down and has you fighting for air. It washes over you in great waves of melancholia and loss and has you aching for relieve and respite. It unfortunately only partially arrives. Which leaves you standing around like a lonely elephant; which can’t remember when the party stopped and why he’s crying. Psychedelic drugs can do that to a beast. But during the fourth track Godmason you start to wonder if the experiment has gone too far. And even though these final three tracks, lasting almost fifty minutes, do have some interesting moments; they can never even come close to those first two songs. Star Collider explodes during those first fifteen minutes and the rest seems like an endless void. Which is no place for an elephant…

(Written by JK)





Van Cleef Continental – Cleefhangers



Van Cleef Continental – Cleefhangers
Wannaboo – 2014
Rock, Stoner
Rated: ***

Andrea van Cleef, released a damn fine solo effort in 2012 named Sundog. But he has been making appearances all around the globe since way back in 1998 when he started out in a dark alternative rock band called The Bogartz. We heard him in garage punk band The Jones Bones and in experimental effort Brother K. But also as part of Vic Du Monte’s very own band of brothers. And in October he returns with a second album Unda Maris for his very own outfit: Van Cleef Continental. But as a prelude to that release we are now treated to a four track EP Cleefhangers. Four colorful and harmonious songs that simply warm the soul and send forth the summer glow. It is the outskirts of the desert and the southern accents that permeate this release. Even though there are heavy guitars; rumbling basses and expert drumming; it is the songwriting and the simple rock essence that take center stage. Lifting ones spirit and sending out a definite need to hit the road like a southern gentleman. So don’t let the first stoner and fuzz track Drive throw you off balance, or the absolute stomping beginnings of the second track Sanctuary II: this is quiet rock music for the golden hour and everywhere where the horizon seems endless…

(Written by JK)

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vrijdag 25 juli 2014

Redcoats – Trouble In You


Redcoats – Trouble In You

As most of you probably know I’ve been completely nuts about the Melbourne based Redcoats ever since their majestic song called Dreamshaker came out on their first EP. I still can’t get enough of that track. Their self-titled album that followed a year later spun for many months on end. And now; they’ve played the first single Trouble In You of their upcoming new album on the Australian PBSFM radio. Skip to 90.00 to hear the new song. And get yourself anxious and ready for the new album…



Kosmic Halo – Demo


Kosmic Halo – Demo
Self released – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Desert, Space, Psych
Rated: ***

Some bands do that lo-fi, grimy recording sound just right. The way it’s just exactly there and right off-balance. The way it sounds exactly a little to open mic’d to make you feel like you were right there; in the basement or studio at the moment of creation. Kosmic Halo has that ability and delivers the goods in four tracks on their first demo. In a sort of easy going Colour Haze, Yawning Man and Kyuss mixture they transport you to their universe and after the first six minutes of Withered Man have passed you are knee deep in their kosmic gunk. Recorded in Sound Matrix Studios down in Fountain Valley, California the three amigo’s clearly set out to record their tracks as they were created. Making sure the mix would not muddle things up or have extra fills distort their laidback energy. It makes these four tracks stand out in purity and makes them perfect for laidback summer evenings; when the sun sets and the owls start hunting. Pour yourself a tall Corvette Summer and enjoy Kosmic Halo in the Sympathetic Dark that’s coming…

(Written by JK)




donderdag 24 juli 2014

Mortals – Cursed To See The Future


Mortals – Cursed To See The Future
Relapse – 2014
Rock, Metal, Sludge, Thrash, Punk
Rated: ***

Everything is turning to black and white now with a limited amount of that color that’s supposed to be in between them. This is not the romantic version of everything turning to black and white. No, this is the bleak and disheartened version. Which can be uplifting from time to time. And the new album Cursed To See The Future by the female power trio Mortals is just that. Brutal riffs and angry growls; absolute destructive drumming leveling all that lays in front and a relentless chucking bass. On the six tracks that make up the album the ladies display not only that they are a masterful and precise wrecking crew. They also show their prowess for inventive structuring in sleek bridges and often using collisions as a ghastly and long outro. Leaving you tensed, anxious and sweaty. There is no salvation on the other side of the horizon, and Cassandra knows this. And now we do too…

(Written by JK)



woensdag 23 juli 2014

Brownout – Presents Brown Sabbath


Brownout – Presents Brown Sabbath
Ubiquity Records – 2014
Hard Rock, Funk Doom, Metal
Rated: ****

Brown Sabbath is the alter ego of Austin-based Brownout, delving into the catalog of the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal godfathers themselves Black Sabbath. “Hand Of Doom” featuring Black Angels singer Alex Maas on vocals is the lead-off single with “The Wizard” on the flip, pressed on limited colored splatter 10inch. Don’t you hate these wanky tribute albums that reinterpret a bands music with novelty results? You know the sort of thing – a piano concerto of “Master Of Puppets” or a bluegrass tribute to AC/DC. It never works and only ever gets played once. There have been only two exceptions – (don’t bother telling me about other ones, this is my review) – Easy Star All Stars – “Dub Side Of The Moon” (okay and probably the Flaming Lips version) and Beautiful People with the Hendrix samples “If 60’s Were the 90’s”. Here at last is one more to add to that tiny list. Brownout cover Sabbath with a genuine feel and love that just oozes with groove and power. With 7 tracks taken from the 1st four Sabbath albums, fuzz laden guitars and Ozzy vocals still abound but now with a screaming horn section and congas to bring a new dimension to well-loved songs. Before you recoil from the word “funk” – this is not the watered down shit which is passed off today as a genre but raw, bad ass vintage 70’s vibes that make me want to growl “muthafucka” a lot. Early Iommi riffs were earthy, primitive blues slowed down and beefed up with huge volume and a sonic hugeness unheard of before. Now take those tunes and add brass to them – the groove is already there dude, “The Wizard” always make me move like a St Vitus victim, now more so. This will not be for everyone but hey, try something outside your comfort zone – What is this that stands before me? Figure in black which points at me. This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco, this ain’t no fooling around!

(Written by Tony)






Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun


Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun
Reprise/Warner – 2014
Rock, Stoner, Metal, Sludge
Rated: ****

It is one of their signatures to kick off an album full force and with a righteous stampede. They did this on The Hunter from 2011 which reached the 15th position of the Stoner HiVe Top 20 countdown of that year. And the boys from Mastodon do this once again with Tread Lightly on their new album Once More ‘Round The Sun. It not only functions as the lift off it also seems to condense everything the band stands for in that one track. Blaring and blistering easy to comprehend guitar explosion, technically skilled but always filled of tantalizing rock esthetic. With resounding refrains full of cracked howls, grunts and clean vocals. And with so much pull it is impossible not to join in with their parade. They have been moving ever further away from their Remission and Leviathan beginnings and have been getting ready to produce their very own sizeable but comprehensible metal which remains sludgy and muddy but always with that uplifting edge and with a definite song structuring. More conservative as their previous and with less experimentation the album seems to set up their vision of the Mastodon future. But they refuse to smash it home… This time around…

(Written by JK)




vrijdag 18 juli 2014

Pantano – Resistencia y Viaje


Pantano – Resistencia y Viaje
Self released – 2014
Doom, Stoner, Fuzz Overload
Rated: *****

Hailing from Chile, Pantano – which translates into “Swamp” – have produced a fourth album of heaviness and groove that just demands that heads nod and fists pump. The first thing that hits you on Resistencia y Viaje is how thick all the tones are - no tinny or fizzy instruments – everything sounds massive and powerful, for me this is exactly how stoner doom should sound. These guys have taken Fu Manchu, Electric Wizard and of course Sabbath and added their own melting pot of fuzzed, hypnotic riffs – gruff, anguished drenched vocals and huge sounding wah-wah leads that just sound great. You get the sense of guys just playing for the hell of it – no plan to stick to a formula – if the riff sounds heavy and righteous, just play it loud regardless of speed or styles. No drawn out passages that try your patience here. With nothing over 5 minutes in length, you can hear the rush to get to the end so they can play another one. We have slowed down fuzz blues rubbing shoulders with Motörhead type monster foot stompers with a bit of punk attitude to spice things up. For me though, the icing on the cake is the distorted, screaming solos that assault your eardrums. What is up with the “new” doom bands that do not indulge in axe shredding? I wanna hear some Iommi worship! While Pantano have not re-invented the wheel, what they do offer is a superb album of songs that I have found myself playing again and again. Stop reading and get downloading – ‘cause the band are cool dudes, it is pay what you want.

(Written by Tony)





donderdag 17 juli 2014

Karma To Burn – Arch Stanton


Karma To Burn – Arch Stanton
FABA/Deep Dive/Bertus
Rock, Stoner, Instrumental
Rated: *****

And once again it isn’t the Karma To Burn as Karma To Burn once started; but it is however a Karma To Burn that sounds exactly like we want them. After the successful reunion in 2009, the massive touring that came after and the damn fine releases and even the sort of merger with Year Long Disaster it took three years before the walls started cracking again. Drummer Rob Oswald left the band and the music world around 2012 and was followed by bassist Rich Mullins a year later. Who is about to release his first EP with his new country-Americana-honkytonkstomp effort The Broken Harvest. Their respective replacements Evan Devine (Ancient Shores) and Rob Halkett (The Exploited) have managed to fill the deep hole left behind to a remarkable degree. Ofcourse the many many many live shows they played the past years have something to do with it. On the new record Arch Stanton the new three lead by founding member Will Mecum return to the sound of the second and third album. Which means we are treated to tight riffs, stomping drums and rolling basses. No need for experiments and no need for vocals. But there’s also a slight hint of progression to be noted besides the minor difference in bass work; notably the encompassing theme. The boys have used a Western signature in their desert rhythms and riff references. And it is highly present in the last song on the album Fifty Nine; which uses samples from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly… And there; among the tumbleweeds and dust storms the band has never sound better!

(Written by JK)





woensdag 16 juli 2014

Heralding a new member to the team: Tony Maim


Heralding a new member to the team: Tony Maim

We are sad that Tony Maim has decided to turn down the laughter on his very own and awesome outlet Black Insect Laughter. It will not die down though; sudden bursts of brilliance will continue to appear now and again and once every so often and he will put up a list of his most listened records. And ofcourse we will still be treated to new music from his damn fine Zeppheroin project and apparently there are some other collaboration projects in the work as well. But we are also honored and happy to announce that the man will produce some words of wisdom for the HiVe. He will write about whatever and whenever he feels like and they will keep stinging, stunning and plaguing your mind like the Black Insect Laughter always did! We thank Tony for all his work and energy he put in there and we thank him for wanting to deliver something for us now and again… He is a damn fine madman and he is always right… And we love to be wrong here! Welcome amigo!

Back… From the island…


Back… From the island…

The sun was good, the rum was better… And the island was incredible! Will definitely be back there before long and trash it even more than the locust already plaguing around like the ugly beasts they are… Tomorrow we shall continue on with the HiVe show.. And now for some sad but great news… ...

zondag 29 juni 2014

Off the grid again…


Off the grid again…

Sorry my brethren, I gotta go do some stuff. But will be back before the next full moon. And if not; well, if the recent loss of our amigo has taught us anything; it is better to cease every day by the balls… Even if it turns out to be one mad freakin bull that kicks you back in the nuts. Whatever happens after that; you made sure you lived it all to the fullest! And whatever gets your adrenaline rushing; is probably worth doing!