Ethereal, hypnotic, unhurried, and quietly epic, the latest album from King Buffalo draws you in with such unassuming ease that you don’t realize you’re caught in its snare until your head is bouncing and your hair standing on end (around minute 12, to be precise).
Released March 2020, Dead Star is an evolution from King Buffalo’s 2018 masterpiece Longing to Be the Mountain, while sharing some common threads with that popular favorite. New side trips into ambient and even 80s-influenced electronic music don’t dull the understated power contained in the psychedelic drone underpinning the compelling groove of this excellent album.
Fans of Pink Floyd, All them Witches, and Elder should check out the latest from this Rochester, New York power trio who just gets better with every new release.
Standout tracks: Ecliptic, Red Star Pt. 2, Eta Carinae
I can’t express how excited I am that those crazy groovy Greeks in Puta Volcano have delivered another syncopated, riff-heavy album of killer tracks with their latest release AMMA, out everywhere now. With their third solid release, Puta Volcano has planted its flag in the sand and saying ‘we are here, motherfuckers.’
The tighter-than-ever quartet has refined its sound from a raw, gritty energy into a restrained, slightly understated but confident power, more like muscles flexing and less like a punch to the face. The rhythm section of Bookies on bass and
Steve Stefanidistill on drums lays a heavy groove and Alex Pi’s guitars go from mean, tight riffs to warm fuzz shower with ease. Anna Papathanasiou’s powerful, husky vocals still raise the hair on the back of my neck. Fans of Tool will dig the latest from these rising stars.
Honestly, there is no way my Pick of the Week couldn’t be the surprise return of Swedish stoner rock legends Lowrider. The first time I ever heard them was on the jukebox at San Francisco’s legendary dive beer bar Toronado — and yes, any jukebox with Lowrider and Tool is the best jukebox, fight me — and I remember seeking out and buying their debut CD Ode to Io shortly thereafter.
Lowrider’s latest release Refractions sounds like the band fell into a wormhole in 1999 and emerged intact in 2020 without missing a beat. The album itself is more of a sonic landscape than a collection of songs you can point at and say, this song is a must listen. The whole thing is like a warm fuzzy electric blanket for your ears. It’s easily one of the must listens of 2020. If you love Kyuss and their offspring, you must check it out immediately.