Album review: ISAAK – The Longer The Beard, The Harder The Sound

Small Stone Records www.smallstone.com

Italy is not the first country you would associate with stoner rock, yet Isaak hail from there and have previously released a couple of albums under Ghandi’s Gunn, but changed their name to Isaak last year. This was Ghandi’s Gunn’s second album which is being re-issued with four added songs including two interesting covers, more of which later.

One thing is for sure this album will shake your speakers, as there are some seriously heavy guitar riffs featured on the songs. ‘Flood’ sounds like Sabbath riffs jamming with 70’s Blue Oyster Cult, to produce a slow and doom laden song that kicks up a beat towards its finale. It’s a bit of a beast time wise too clocking in at over eight minutes. Mind you the ten minute ‘Hypothesis’ delves into all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds, be it a sitar solo or the seriously low bass notes.

Bands like Clutch and QOTSA come to mind on the opener ‘Haywire’ and the driving rhythm found on’ Red (The Colour Of God).’ The band also cover two rock classics, first up Iron Maiden’s ‘Wrathchild’ and to be honest bar the guitar melodies you’d be hard pressed to know it was a Maiden song. Nice to see the guitar solos given a makeover sounding suitably detuned and fuzzed up. Then we have a suitably stoned up version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Fearless’ and vocalist Hobo seems to have a ball on this one.

Likely to be one of the better stoner meets doom albums you will hear this year.

***1/2

Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 6 July (Mon-Fri)

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