Atlanteans Order of the Owl and Volume IV are northwardly bound, on their way to the Eye of the Stoned Goat in New England next weekend. But along the way, they’re making a few pit stops — the “No Sleep Till Stoned Goat” mini-tour kicked off last night in Tennessee, and will be followed by jaunts through Pennsylvania and New York before hitting Massachusetts for Sunday’s festival. If you happen to live in the general proximity of any of these shows, I can’t recommend highly enough that you take advantage of your chance to check out both bands.
Crawl – Crawl Demo (self-released, 12 October 2012)
So who’s in the mood for some heavy doom with a nice dose of southern sludge??
Don’t bother answering that; it was a rhetorical question. Here we go…
There have been a few bands called Crawl over the years, but this one formed in Atlanta, in spring 2012. Most of what I hear coming out of Georgia nowadays is rather fuzzy and stonery; it’s clear these guys draw from SOME of the same influences as their fellow statesmen, but they also incorporate some darker elements of west coast doom and the weightiness of gulf coast sludge, for an amalgam that’s definitely worth checking out.
Wizard Smoke – The Tickler (self-released, 28 September 2012)
In a world that often feels overrun by generic stoner/psychedelic metal bands, where you can hardly turn around without running into another group of hirsute Big-Muff-pedal-stompers, who use more drug references per song than an entire Cheech and Chong movie that co-stars Bill Hicks, and who often get complimented on the cool fog machine effects during their shows when in fact they don’t even use one…
I think you get the idea. Anyway, in spite of all of that, Atlanta, Georgia’s Wizard Smoke have always stood out among the crowd, to me; their output easily meeting the standards set by some of their more famous fellow southern U.S. contemporaries, as well as that of any of the similarly-named bands you might think of, either across the country or across the pond.
My deep appreciation for this group began the very first time I heard one of their songs — that being the opening track from 2009’s Live Rock in Hell, the confusingly titled “II”. The rest of that album and the 2011 follow-up The Speed of Smoke both maintain a pretty consistently high quality of material, but “II” remains among my absolute favorites across the entire genre.
I guess the point I’m trying to drive home is, if you are a fan of all things fuzzy and sludgy, and you also enjoy harsh vocals that often veer into blackened territory, you really ought to be familiar with the Wizard Smoke catalog. Lucky for you, I’ll have some helpful links later on.
But first, I want to say a few words about The Tickler, the new EP they just made available about a week and a half ago. Like everything else the band has done so far, it’s good stuff — and also like everything else they’ve released, you can download it totally free!