River Cult – Chilling Effect (Tee Pee Records (digital) / Nasoni Records (vinyl), 01 May 2020)
Good afternoon, everyone! Do you still get a sinking feeling of dread every time a Monday rolls around — even though every day feels exactly the same and they all seem to suck equally now? Or is it just me?
Anyway, it’s time for another discussion about new music. Those with really acute memories might recall talking about River Cult, rock trio (with bits of stoner and psychedelic influence) from Brooklyn, about two years ago when they had released their debut LP.
Well they’re back with another five tracks of fuzzy goodness, pushing even further into both the stoner and the psychedelic territories. Let’s check out Chilling Effect!
While it may take a couple minutes of new-agey ambient synth before things really get kick-started, then a gritty wah-guitar riff comes out of nowhere. Combine that with a mid-90s noise-rock vocal delivery, and the eleven-and-a-half minute title track is well underway. Of course, though, the band goes off on all sorts of increasingly psychedelic expeditions over the final several minutes — and we aren’t complaining one bit.
The rest of the album runs the gamut from low-key, laid-back bluesiness with just enough desert-rock fuzziness (“Left Hand Path” and the instrumental “Red Return”), to mid-level heavy riffage (the vaguely Helmet-y “Neo Dog” and closing song “Fool’s Gold” that gives off kind of a Crazy Horse vibe, between its overdriven sound and the lengthy freak-out guitar sections — which, again, we are absolutely here for).
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