Southern rockers Whiskey Myers, have returned to the scene with some good ol' rock n roll, but they are conscious of a changing world and want to be the mouthpiece for it. They came to people's attention along with the new wave of Southern rock bands such as Blackberry Smoke and The Cadillac Three. Having always been a more traditional outfit with a real country feel to their music relying on the tried and tested themes of blue collar life/love and instruments such as banjos, slide guitar and lap steels. Their previous album Mud was released in 2016 to widespread acclaim reaching #1 on the American Country Charts, since then they have been featured in four episodes of the Kevin Costner series Yellowstone, which saw their albums hit the charts again.
On this record though their fifth they have tried to reach that down home sound once again, positioning themselves as the biggest and baddest of the new Southern rock genre, they are from Texas after all. They have tried to be as authentic as they can, being a bit more experimental with the ideas as they took over the production for this record allowing them full freedom. They open the album with Die Rockin' a wild, hard rocking number where they set out their stall, followed by the more soulful Mona Lisa full of massive organs and gospel backing vocals but Rolling Stone is stripped back as frontman Cody Cannon channels his inner Dylan with the scrubbing acoustic and harmonica. I do have to say no matter how good this album is, it's a much more mature, grown up Southern rock record, at 14 songs it's a bit long however if this is the beginning of a new era for the band then it's one that will see their listenership expand, far beyond their genre boundaries. 7/10
Pist: Hailz (APF Records)
Riff monsters Pist return with their face ripping new album of stonersludgeblackthrash, this is their third release and sees them expanding on the stoner/doom riffs of their earlier albums with a much more in your face aggression full. There’s plenty of black metal tremolo picking and blast beats on Ex-Nihilio and also on Wreck, which dissolves into grooves, reminding you that not all the remnants of their past have gone away. You can also hear these leftovers of the stoner style on Mind Rotter, which has a serious groove after a desert rock intro, it reminds me of early Orange Goblin, who are former touring partners of the Pist. Though Skin Your God is more modern OG. This is the nastier side of the scene Pist have been lumped into, from the grinding guitar sounds to the raw squawk of the vocals and how easily they move between the swaggering stoner riffs and extreme metal battery, it’s actually very impressive, never sounding disjointed, moving from desert rockers such as Strangle The Sun, which features Elephant Tree, to the more vicious blackened sounds mentioned earlier. Imagine Pantera playing with Darkthrone and that’ll be the kind of mindset you’ll need to be in for this album, other than that sink a few beers, turn it up and just listen to the filth as it booms its way out of your speakers. 8/10
Dope Default: Imprisoned (Self Released)
Dope Default are from Thessaloniki Greece but you'd be forgiven for thinking they were from NOLA, mainly because of the vocals which are a dead ringer for Kyle Thomas of Exhorder. Imprisoned is their first album with John Campbell (surely can't be Greek) and it's his vocals that make this different to the numerous Greek stoner rock bands around, they've fitted themselves out with some Southern metal style, thick grooves pervade on Cold-Blooded Queen which sounds like Black Label Society which choppy guitars and big solos. Due to the vocals the album has a sound of Alabama Thunderpussy which is not a bad thing at all as the riffs are big enough to land a plane on as George and Bith both supply the fuzz but also have some cleaner psych sounds on the jazzy Sinless Invader which is hooked by the bass of Makis and the wide open drumming of Thodoris, it's prime desert rock. Dope Default have found an ideal vocalist for their heavy hitting stoner metal, best played loud. 7/10
Desensitised: Sister Psychosis (Self Released)
I level with you. I've never been the biggest fan of pop-punk, I've always enjoyed the heavier end of rock music however when were asked to review this album from Nottingham trio Desensitised. They are a a band with a Riot Grrl attitude, some rock swagger and punch of grunge too. Sister Psychosis is their debut album and has seen them get airplay on BBC Radio Introducing, Radio X and Planet Rock amongst others. You can see why they would get radio plays as they have some ballads like All Eyes On Her and the slutry Burn The Witch and the stripped back He Loves Me Not, which has some stirring strings behind it. But they are mainly powerful rocking from the glammier sounds of Messed Around, the pure pop punk of Emily and the White Stripes garage sound of You'll See which opens out into some jangly sing along. There's a hint of long forgotten punk rockers Slunt on Wasted which also reminds me of Hole. Desensitised are made up of the thumping bass and raw/melodic vocals of Charlotte Radford, the riffing of Libby Butterworth-Smith and the percussive power of Claire Brookes, like I've said Not usually my music but there's no denying the talent of Desensitised. A very decent album indeed. 7/10