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29 October 2014

[Reviews] 90's Hidden Gems -part 1-

Four bands, four debut (and only) albums, four hidden gems!

                                            Chrome Locust - Chrome Locust (1999)

      Chrome Locust were a New York based band formed in 1998 by guitarist Todd Youth and drummer Michael Wildwood. The trio was completed with Jim Heneghan on bass guitar and began jamming sessions as a side project. Coming from different musical backgrounds, all three of them showed much interest in the project and given the rise of the stoner rock scene, they decided to devote to this new band. Tee Pee Records signed Chrome Locust and recordings began in early 1999. Their self titled debut was released the same year and it was a very good example of heavy rock music that was at the peak of its creativity at the end of the century. Todd Youth's punk playing style was evident on the album that featured fine songs accompanied by a very matched production. Personal favorites include Ain't No Love, New World Disorder, Heavy Medication -with a notable hardcore passage- and the instrumental closer The Cycle Of Birth & Death. Chrome Locust disbanded after this album and Todd Youth would join Danzig in 2000, while Michael Wildwood would play the drums on Monster Magnet's Monolithic Baby! in 2004.

                                                       Floodgate - Penalty (1996)

      Kyle Thomas, of Exhorder fame, and his brother Kevin, on vocals-guitar and bass respectively, formed Floodgate in 1994, along with guitarist Steven Fisher and drummer Neil Montgomery. The band released their debut and only album, titled Penalty, through Roadrunner Records in 1996. Coming from New Orleans, the sound and style of music was similar to Down and Corossion Of Conformity, bands highly influential to this southern doomy style.  The songwriting is solid and songs like Before the Line Divides, Second Guesser and the atmospheric Whole, show the band in great form. No need for lengthy jams, just basic, well played southern stoner rock, Penalty is an album that any fan of heavy music should appreciate.

                                                    7Zuma7 - Deep Inside (1999)


      Formed in Eindhoven, 7Zuma7 were a short lived stoner rock band that released their only album Deep Inside in 1999. Drummer Jacco van Rooij had previously played on the first two albums of Space Rock heroes 35007 and bassist Miranda Vandervoort was briefly in Toner Low. Jerry van Eyck was the singer and shared the guitar parts with John Peate. The quartet served well the Kyuss inspired sound and gave us 11 songs full of energy and thunderous riffs. Combining fast and slow parts in their songs, the band enjoys every second on this album. A couple of songs that Ι especially enjoy are Diamonds 2000 and Heroin Chic but Ι also like listening to the acoustic Savannah and the instrumental Fistful Of Dolls. 7Zuma7 disbanded in 2000, and some of the group's members played in various bands but nothing was officially recorded or released.

                                                  Motocaster - Stay Loaded (1994)

      The three piece band Motocaster hailed from Raleigh, North Carolina and they played straight forward rock in garage punk style. A truly hidden gem, Brian Silwa, bass-vocals, Jon Heames, drums, mellotron and Bo Taylor, guitars-vocals, recorded Stay Loaded in 1994. From the album's opener The Buddha until the closer Sweet Pearl, one can feel the raw power and the appropriate dirty sound that is reminiscent to some heavy psych bands of the 70's. Unfortunately, Motocaster had a short UK tour and disbanded a few weeks after, leaving this great album as a legacy to those who want to listen to good, old school, nasty rock n roll.

By Pijo


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