Rob Zombie – The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man
Ever since The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy was released in March it’s been on regular rotation, especially as I was fortunate enough to snag one of the last remaining green splatter vinyls of the album. It’s therefore tricky to just pick one track but The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man takes it for me, even just by name alone. Its full speed from the get go but with plenty of twists and turns which I just love. The middle section is fantastically different from the rest, indulging in a slow and groovy 60s hippy interlude before firing right into one of the most chaotic outros I’ve ever heard. For just under a minute there’s a multitude of space like synths and dominating guitar riffs, throwing the listener into a vortex of technicolour and ever shifting shapes. For this alone, Rob Zombie is refusing to lean into the lacklustre that can come with decades of releasing music, and is instead still an absolute powerhouse of the weird and bizarre.
The Picturebooks – Corrina Corrina (ft. Neil Fallon)
It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the raw western tones of The Picturebooks but as soon as I found out they’d released a song with the absolute icon that is Neil Fallon, I knew I had to play it immediately. Neil Fallon is one of my absolute favourite vocalists and the pairing of him and The Picturebooks just works seamlessly. Switching from gentle country backdrops to fuzzy guitar riffs, Corrina Corrina is completed by Fallon’s commanding vocals, willing the female protagonist to come home. It’s a brilliant single and a coupling that was just meant to be.
High Reeper – Winter King/Devil’s Grip
I heard the opening to this track from a random Instagram story and immediately went on a quest to find the full song and band responsible for such a crushing bad ass riff. And thus I stumbled upon High Reeper, a stoner rock band formed in 2016 in Philadelphia. Winter King/Devils Grip never falters, the vocals soaring to incredible heights and the riffs heavy as hell. The two-minute instrumental ending is just excellent, the guitar melodies transcending into such a sludgy and dirty riff that’s headbanging perfection.
Lowest Creature – Breach of Peace
I’ve been mourning the loss of Riley Gales presence in Power Trip since his passing in August last year. Power Trip stole my heart with their combination of classic thrash and hardcore which has been such an influence on other bands. One of the influenced is Sweden’s Lowest Creature who have wielded that golden hybrid of thrash and hardcore with vocals that are scarily similar to Riley’s. Upon first listening I was cynical that the band was just a carbon copy of Power Trip. However, since listening to 2019’s Sacrilegious Pain I can confirm that Lowest Creature have so much more to offer in their own right. Breach of Peace begins with an ominous bass tone which is then layered with some seriously heavy riffs that chug along at a moderate rate. All that changes with the throaty vocal signal of what I can only describe as a Sodom like “blEeEhHh” as the palm muted riffs fire ahead at such a satisfyingly rapid speed. The whole song is quintessential thrash and hardcore and is such a worthy listen.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising
Lately this has become my song to play to contemplate 2020/21 in a more ironic and humorous light. Bad Moon Rising is just the perfect soundtrack to the absolute chaotic mess of the pandemic and other various global disasters. I’ve been playing along with the track quite often on my guitar and it’s honestly been such a weird tongue and cheek lift in terms of my mood. I also just love to listen to Bad Moon Rising as there’s the most niche reference to it in The Shining which always takes me back to reading it in October 2020. It’s got such a nostalgic charm to it amongst the stark current relevance. A brilliant song and so ridiculously applicable to the strange times we’ve found ourselves living in.