Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wo Fat - The Black Code (album review)

Thick.  Heavy.  Smokey.  Funky.  Groovy.  Trippy.  All words that apply to The Black Code, yet the sum is so much more.  It's a journey to Mars in a Cadillac the size of Texas.  It's John Lee Hooker with Kyuss on a soundtrack to a sci fi story by EC Comics written by H.P. Lovecraft.

As an opening salvo "Lost Highway" puts it right between the eyes, seemingly boiling down the feel of the rest of the album in one compact shot.  A kind of stripped down, economy model of what's to come.  It's no less a great tune for its economy.  The title track expands on the musical ideas already set forth and "The Black Code" has arrived.  The band finds dense muggy grooves and locks in, chugging along like a juggernaut without being repetitive and finding plenty of room to explore.

"Hurt At Gone" shows some great blues roots, bringing an element into the mix that just always seems to sire classics in stoner music: slide guitar.  Thick ass groove.

"Shard of Leng" takes us off from a sweaty strip of Texas highway into outer space.  The first half of this twelve minute song is a psychedelic jam.  Somehow, it doesn't drag or seem drawn out or lose your attention and by the time the lyrics roll around an important part of the story has already been told.

This is a rare one indeed.  Everything is just perfect.  Even the instrumental jam sections are just right, every note a winner.  Wo Fat has somehow managed to take the ideas and imagery of sci fi, space travel, and the music of ZZ Top and Kyuss and break these elements down to their essence and extracted only what's good.

This album has been available for download on bandcamp for quite some time but the CD will be released on November 13.  A limited edition of 680 vinyl copies in various formats will also be released on November 13.

Highlights include: "Lost Highway" and "Hurt At Gone"

Rating: 5/5

From: Dallas, Texas

Genre: Psychedelic, Stoner, Hard Rock, Blues

Reminds me of: High on Fire, Kyuss, Sleep, ZZ Top

Release Date: November 13, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Waiting in the desert for the mothership to take you away.

More Info

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Interview with Dr. Doom here

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