[Review] Routes - Land Of Holy Dope

Routes - Land Of Holy Dope
Four years after their debut's release, Routes from Chalkida are back with their second album "Land Of Holy Dope" (what a sweet title, don't you think?). One of my most anticipated releases for 2011 was 1000mods "Super Van Vacation" and they didn't fail me. For 2012 Routes were high in my list too. Their self-titled album was a pleasant ear-worm but here we're talking about a fuckin' dopehead rattlesnake messing your brain with dirty grooves and drug-fueled riffs, packed up in 8 tracks or else a 35-minute trip to the Land Of Holy Dope.

Comparing their new album with their debut, it's clear that they slowed down their speeds and added a lot of effects which leaded in a more space, trippy sound. Main responsible for this is Tasos, who joined the band in 2010, the man behind the "noise generation". A loose, laid-back, jamming feeling is present in all eight tracks but that doesn't mean that the straight-forward stoner "punch-in-the-face" attitude is missing...

The album kicks in with "Maryjuane And The Kingdom Comes" where Tost (bass) establishes his presence right from the beginning. The tune is a fast paced one with some noise breaks in it which make it even better. Up next is "Million Pills" a more mid-tempo track with a steady rhythm and some great groovy guitar work as it reaches its end.

"Purple Coyote" - which is one my favorite ones - is an ass smacking sample of guitar-driven psych stoner rock. I love it! That's it. Next... "Hit The Ground". A highly addictive track where Teo hammers his drum kit, the bass pumps up the groove while Antonis and Dimitris sear their guitars creating a vibrant, earth-shaking groove monster.

"Fine" is album's longest track and a classsic stoner song where you're going to love the kick ass tone of it. "The Green Great Potatoe" starts quite calm, moving in more desert rock paths but when it reaches in the middle, it shifts gear in a thick-riff driven tune. Here is where I confirmed that Antonis drunk, lazy vocals is what really the band needs. Also I have to say that "The Green Great Potatoe" brings me in mind (at times) The Dive's recent work. Perhaps is a subtle neo-grunge feeling I'm getting...

"Help Me Doctor To Get High" is a 3-minute kick in the stomach, lysergic track leading to album's last song "Tractor Cat" which closes "Land Of Holy Dope" in an excellent way. Chill out, jamming feeling like the first puff of a good "cigar"... 

I was expecting something good from these guys... But not as good as this one. "Land Of Holy Dope" is a trippy but also fast and intense ride to nowhere. An equally solid, addicting album where everything from the production to the playing are top notch. Definitely worth of multiple listens. My kudos to Routes. They kept us waiting for four years but after this I really don't mind... The band is tight, they have worked the tracks a lot and gave us an album with not even a single moment of dullness. I hope the guys are planning a tour or something 'cause this is a record meant to be played live (Personally I think that a tour with 1000mods would be amazing).

So I believe you know the deal here...Load your bongs, put this sweet baby playing and let the holy smoke guide you. The purple coyote is waiting for you...

You can stream "Land Of The Holy Dope" through bandcamp.
For physical needs, here is the place

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