The new album from Deadly Vipers, their second, is a welcome stop on the international stoner road: Low City Drone.
From Facebook, “Deadly Vipers is a French stoner-rock band from Cabestany.” There really is not much information in the press materials, and I had not heard of this band before so I find myself a bit adrift. On their FB page there is a little more, for those who are willing to browse. We find that the first album was called Fueltronaut and was released in 2017. That’s about it. The music is a fuzzy, bluesy stoner rock affair, and I am all in for that. Drop the needle.
It all begins with “Echoes From Wasteland,” a song that has a slow build leading to, as promised, extra fuzziness. It is a nice intro piece that sets up “Atom” nicely. The vocals are sassy and the guitar is cantankerous. There is a turbulent spacefuzz section where we appear to be wandering in the cosmos. Soon enough, never fear, we gain orientation and everything turns out all right. “Low City Drone” shows up next, with all the expectations that a title track bears on its back. Even without the titular nomenclature, it is clear that this nine-minute song is the center of the record’s universe. As it goes on, the music begins to weigh you down in a familiar, comforting way, nearly building a codependence where anxiety creeps in on the thought of the song ending. The guitar work here is amazing and the vocals are defining.
In other parts of the set there are fascinating nooks and crannies, places of both zest and rest. Take each on its own terms and avoid comparing any instantiation to another because they are not necessarily fellows. “Welli Welloo” is a tasty up-tempo bumper that is worth a second listen. “Last Rise” is a slower track, and it has a wonderfully dooming feel to it that I really liked. The lead guitar will eat you alive. The cool down is “Big Empty,” a well-paced, reflective bit that that shows up at exactly the right time. As I said, I hadn’t heard of Deadly Vipers before but I am glad I know about them now. Recommended.
Low City Drone is out now through Fuzzorama Records. In the US, Bandcamp is a good place to pick it up.
Fuzzorama Music, https://www.fuzzoramarecords.com/
© Wayne Edwards