Wed 18th January 2017
Star Wars themed stoner rock? Yeah go on then, I could use a laugh. But wait, this is actually pretty good. Banthas are those massive wooly things they ride on Tattooine (a quick search reveals it was an Asian elephant dressed in fur for filming).
BR are from Warsaw, Poland, but you'd never guess. This is as Southern-fried as KFC. The music here is driving, cool and laid-back sludge style without being too rampantly heavy. There's a groove to opener Sandcrawler but I keep expecting vocals that never appear. No matter, the instrumental force in this one is strong. Quite how there's not been a directly Star Wars referencing stoner band until now (to my knowledge) is incredible. The song titles are a little tongue in cheek (Jawa Juice being just genius) but rock along at a steady pace, meaning even the most seasoned stoner rock fan will get something out of this.
The aforementioned Jawa Juice is an epic nine minutes and has something of a prog ring to it. It feels like a journey across those hot desert scenes that Lucas dreamed up all those years ago and have lodged their way into our understanding of sci-fi and the real world. Seriously though, how embedded is the Star Wars universe in our culture? People who've never seen the films can quote it and know obscure facets of it. That's what makes this so wonderful, a band who are having original thoughts about a film series that's seriously over-burdened with rip-offs and cliche.
We tip our Jedi hoods to you Bantha Rider, let's hear a concept album about Wookies next please.