Sometime in late August the band pre-released the opening track "Hexagram" with a brief interview on the old Stonerobixxx website. At that time the 'One Year' EP was still warm on the table, a mere three months old and it was immediately apparent after a quick listen that the band had already moved on from the sonic template of their first release. But this wasn't a 'quick listen' kind of song this isn't a 'quick listen' kind of EP. According to the band, the song (and I'm supposing this entire EP?) was recorded in a large empty warehouse (on a stormy night to boot) creating an incredible resonance, especially from the drums. The song builds slowly and isn't as immediately catchy as what was found on 'One Year', with the exception of the song's coda, "You better run 'cause, God is not here!" But a song doesn't have to be immediately catchy to be good or accessible. This song is like a warning shot to the listener's expectations. The musical ideas presented on this (glow in the dark vinyl!) disc are more complex and challenging than what came before. Gone are the streamlined song structures and clean straight-forward production, but what remains is the high quality songwriting and the soulful performances.
A couple weeks before the EP was made available for pre-sale on Halloween, the band released a second track, "The Dead Still Ride". Pre-releasing half an album is a bold move, but no bolder than the sounds of the first two tracks listeners heard. "The Dead Still Ride" is the ballsy biker rock anthem that the song's title suggests and was still nothing like the (relatively) older material. The guitar revs up at the beginning of the track and launches down Highway 666, punctuated by a drivin' beat, the song is hard, heavy and melodic with harmonized vocals during the chorus. Like "Hexagram" it cruised into my top 5 and was a mainstay on the Doom Charts for weeks.
Then the big day finally came when the EP was officially released in its entirety, three full months after the song "Hexagram" was debuted. Fans of the band finally got to hear the other two songs from the EP and they would not be disappointed. The first of the two is called "At Midnight (I'll Steal Your Soul)" and at a teaspoon under five minutes long is about a third shorter than its companion. It shows much of the hallmarks of the first track, heavy dowtuned riff and big resonant drums, adding some new elements into the mix, such as lifeless and mournful harmonized vocals that sound like they were sung by dead themselves and a great nod to classic doom in the Death SS / Paul Chain mold, as the organ gets the dust wiped off it for this one. A long instrumental section in the middle shines a dark spotlight on the terrific horrorific riff. This may be the heaviest thing these guys have recorded yet and will become a new Halloween standard. Of course, the song is good anytime, not just Halloween, especially stormy nights.
After releasing two terrific EPs in a span of six months I'm very curious to see what this band does next. It might come sooner or it might come later than we expect but when it comes I'm sure it will knock both expectations and socks off. Until then there's 'The Color Out of Space', a dark and heavy tour de force by an up and coming band.
Highlights include: "The Dead Still Ride" and "Hexagram"
Total Run Time: 28:38
From: Houston, Texas
Genre: Doom Metal, Psychedelic, Hard Rock, Biker Rock, Space Rock
Reminds me of: One Year EP; Black Sabbath; Death SS; Hawkwind; and is it just me or is there something faintly Black Keys-ish about this band?
Release Date: December 2, 2012
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: do yourself a favor and don't investigate any fallen meteorites, let the 'authorities' handle them things
The Story of The Color Out of Space