Sat 21st December 2013
Just like all the hard rock greats of the 70s such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Whitesnake, our favourite hippies Groan return with a new line-up to accompany a new record of Party Stoner™.
And what a record it is! I don't know who's been given the keys to the riff cabinet this time around, but fuck me, this is incredible!
A truckload of groove, chug and swagger has been dumped into these songs, and Groan have certainly upped their game. Credit is due to guitarists Mike Pilat and James Beedham for laying down the business, some OTT solos and sweet twin leads. I don't know what input Leigh 'Average' Jones had, but any self-respecting band would tell the bassist to shut up and play what's he told to.
Joking aside, Leigh and the new drummer Zel Kaute (taking over from previous drummer, guitarist, knob-twiddler and record label supremo Chris West) anchor this record with a solid foundation, no fucking about, and nothing over the top.
As always though, the biggest hooks on this EP are courtesy of the majestic vocal stylings of Andrew 'Mazzereth' Maslen. Very cheeky, very clever, very cocky and so very English, the tongue is firmly in cheek. it's no secret I'm a fully paid-up member of his fan club, but music should be fun, and when guys like him and Atko of Gentleman's Pistols are strutting their stuff onstage and preaching righteous words, how can you not help but smile?
Bonus points for writing a song about a Fighting Fantasy gamebook Citadel Of Chaos which includes the lyric of the year "I'm a nine to five wizard. Time to roll the dice"
I'm not really into heavy metal any more, so please excuse my lame pigeon-holing here, but for a point of reference, the metal content has been considerably dialled-up and could be mistaken for Down, Church Of Misery or The Sword in places.
With the elder statesmen Cathedral passing on, these guys are carrying the flame, stake and crushed velvet flares for bombastic and OTT stoner/doom.
If you haven't got whiplash, a sore arm from fist-pumping and a big cheesy grin plastered over your face after hearing this EP, there's something wrong with you.