I was recently listening to good old Mudhoney albums (see my review of “Every Boy Deserves Fudge” here) and was missing the heavy fuzzy stoner rock these guys used to make in the heyday of grunge rock, late 80s to early 90s. And just then, I received Windhand‘s latest album, “Soma”, that pretty much brings back this feeling I was longing for. Yeah.

Windhand’s guitars take a large place in their sound. The dual attack by Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris never gives an inch. They just fill the space between your two ears with thundering but beautifully controlled distortion. Dorthia Cottrell’s voice is also distorted with effects that make it hard to understand the lyrics, but it isn’t such a problem as Windhand’s music is mainly made to fill the air with heavy guitars anyways, which they do very well.

On songs like Feral Bones, her voice kind of reminds of Ozzy’s or Mark Arm’s. The acoustic Evergreen is the alien on this record: it’s a soft dreamy folk song that could have been released in the 70s, with an Elliott Smith feel added, as the lazy guitar strums for well over 6 minutes. Here we can better appreciate Cottrell’s voice, which is actually pretty good, although a bit linear. But, as soon as this folk interlude is over, heavy guitars and bass, slow stoner drums, and far-in-the-mix vocals are back, in your face, or all over your ears, if I can say.

The sound quality of Windhand’s is very good, which sometimes lacks with this type of bands that create white-label wall if sound. Bogdan and Morris really care about each note their guitars produce and it shows. Long 13 and 20 minutes songs end this solid stoner rock album.

WINDHAND
Soma
(Relapse Records, 2013)

-Genre: heavy stoner rock / doom metal
-In the same field as Mudhoney, Electric Wizard, Sleep

Go to the band’s Facebook fanpage
Go to the label’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur-en-chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie “Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique” en 2013, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016.