Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Brave Priest - Precious Summers (Stunned Records CS)
Another delay, but hopefully we're through the thick of the holiday hold-ups at this point. Nice welcome back from New York packages too, with a couple cassettes from Stunned and a copy of that American Tapes silent record, so there's that to look forward to as well. First I'm gonna finish off that first Stunned batch with this tape from Brave Priest, which is Matt McDowell, Dan Barone, and Brain Thackeray from Dark Yoga playing some heavy duty stoner grunge rock straight out of the Easy Rider soundtrack only without any of the preciousness that those group's might have. A bit more motor than Steppenwolf, a bit more psych than the Doors.
The tape opens with the crazy amazing "No Blood," which really puts the stoner vibe in full gear. Slow trudging riffage with spaced out lyrics that are spot on. A whole "who cares, let's ride" feel permeates the thing as it builds from its song structure into this Hawkwind style freakout that's spot on and as tight as they come. "Vampire Canyon" follows with its go nowhere stop start rhythm that for some reason comes across as something like a cross between the sunshine repetitions of Sun Araw's Beach Head and the psych out stretchings of his earlier The Phynx. Maybe it's just that it's on Stunned, or maybe it's that the man himself, Cameron Stallones, has done the beautiful cover art work here. But yeah, the thing just rides along, wah'd out and rumbling with this high two-note vocal thing that totally takes you to that nowhere land. The aptly titled "Give You Bone" closes the first side with some Ozzy style riffage over these dumb-as-nails lyrics about taking you from behind sung in a harsh, cougher's smoke moss-covered manner. Just solid and fun rocking material here.
The second side is one monstrous twelve-minute burner that thrashes its way about with this pummeling drum situation and the herky guitar sputters of Thackeray. The bass stays right with it too, giving it the rounded fat punch required. Sounds like it's just a jam, but the unit is so tight that it comes across as a real workout. Just a heavy duty situation all around, the side manages to reach some pockets of delusional fury the likes of which a lot of those 60s cyclist bands were never willing to go. Guess Brave Priest has time and a whole world of influences on their side. Or maybe it's just that the pot's stronger. Totally amazing tape that's sold out at source but likely available somewhere out there. If not, someone reissue this thing... could be the summer jammer of 2009!