DoctoR DooM, A Shadow Called Danger (Ripple 2023)

DoctoR DooM, the four-piece stoner rock act from France, helps you start your year off right with A Shadow Called Danger.

I first came across DoctoR DooM when I heard their album This Seed We Have Sown (2015) that I picked up during a Ripple Music sale. The vibrations I experienced that day live in my synapses still. I have been waiting ever since for another infusion – at last it has arrived. The band is Jean-Laurent Pasquet (vocals, guitar) Bertrand Legrand (guitar), Michel Marcq (drums), and Sébastien Boutin Blomfield (bass).

The new album is heavier than the last, doomier in parts. The first track, “Comeback to Yourself,” starts off that way, heavy, but shifts into a lighter frame after a number of bars and starts to cook. Immediately, you start to feel 1974 rising from its resting place and sweeping the room with renewed vigor. Light yet meaningful, delivered with purpose. The perfect jump. “What Are They Trying to Sell” follows with a different tone. I don’t know what they had in mind when they wrote it, but to me it makes me see the beach from the perspective of the PCH. But then it slows and becomes dramatic, telling a different story. It is a journey. Nice organ work on this track by Jim Blomfield, too.

“Ride On” is a quiet piece, filled with eager solitude that builds to eventual explosion. The switch (or you might call it a progression) happens in other songs, too, like “Hollow.” Here though it is more gradual and has the biggest tidal change. These songs, the whole album, are lookbacks in a way, sure, but they are reinventions more than replications. In that sense the music is filled with surprises even as it brings on nostalgia. The beautiful and sad “Sarabande” closes the show and leaves you wanting more.

If the new album is any measure, the second decade of DoctoR DooM will be even better than the first. Recommended.

A Shadow Called Danger is out now through Ripple Music. Explore the possibilities at the links below.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://doctordoom.bandcamp.com/album/a-shadow-called-danger

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/doctordoom09/

Ripple Music, https://www.ripple-music.com/

© Wayne Edwards

DoctoR DooM, A Shadow Called Danger (Ripple 2023)

Electric Jaguar Baby, Psychic Death Safari (Rebel Waves 2022)

The new album from Electric Jaguar Baby continues the fuzzed up garage rock trance, Psychic Death Safari.

Since 2015, eclectic duo Electric Jaguar Baby from Paris, France has been creating fascinating vibes. Over the course of the intervening years, a trio of EPs and their debut album have left a trail for music lovers to follow that is wickedly diverse and endlessly entertaining. The identity of the central musical pair remains mysterious, but we do know that there are guest appearances on the album by Luca of Go!Zilla on vocals and organ, and Jed of ZigZags on guitar.

The band describes the new album as “a gangbang between Ty Segall, Josh Homme, Jack White and Ozzy Osbourne, sprinkled with retro and occult 70’s vibes”. If that doesn’t capture your imagination then you must be in a coma.

“Hitmaker” opens with a catchy 1970s rock riff then continues with similarly-styled vocals. It hooks you immediately – there is no way to not hang out and listen. “Flashlight” is a little denser, a bit trippier. It sets a cruise and rolls on down the gently winding highway. By the time we get to “Shiver River,” I had an Amboy Dukes flashback. Every song cooks, and the listening is good.

There is a lot to like on this record. One of my favorite tracks is “Hellcome” – love the lead guitar and the assertive past-central riff. And come on, “Jaguar’s Boogie” is a thing of beauty. If you are into garage rock, 1970s sensibilities, and fuzzed up trippy stoniness, there is no way you can go wrong here. Recommended.

Psychic Death Safari is out now through Ripple Music’s Rebel Waves Records on vinyl, CD, and digital. If you like what you hear, check out the band’s back catalogue at their Bandcamp page (link below).

Links.

Electric Jaguar Baby website, https://express.adobe.com/page/SarZGmiV5SG7Y/

Bandcamp, https://electricjaguarbaby.bandcamp.com/album/psychic-death-safari

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ElectricJaguarBaby/

Ripple Music, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/psychic-death-safari

© Wayne Edwards

Electric Jaguar Baby, Psychic Death Safari (Rebel Waves 2022)

Dirty Honey, The Dirty Honey Album (2021)

The long-awaited debut album from Los Angeles blues-rock band Dirty Honey is out this week.

Marc LaBelle (vocals), John Notto (guitars), Justin Smolian (bass), and Corey Coverstone (drums) are Dirty Honey, a 1970s-influenced hard rock band that blends blues stylings seamlessly into their music. I saw them live several times in 2019 and the show they put on was always a highlight of any music festival.

The band has previously released an EP in 2019, and two of the singles from it were big hits, “Rolling 7s” and “When I’m Gone.” They find a way in every song to get your attention, sometimes with a big front and sometimes with a subtle insinuation. Every track’s a keeper and they all make you feel like being outside and living life whether the story the song tells is raucous or sad.

The first single off the new album is “California Dreamin’” and it is a goodtime rocker with catchy hooks and a great lead break. Opening the album as it does, it’s your first pass at LaBelle’s voice and it is at once lyrical and forceful, insistent and understanding. All the pieces of the band match up in rare ways that create consistent appeal to rock fans across a wide range of inclinations.

Other favorites of mine include “Tied Up” and “No Warning” because of the rhythm and the way elements land – all the separate parts can be heard on their own and when your brain puts them all together there is synergy. Of the eight songs on the album, seven of are up-tempo, straight-ahead rock songs. The closer is “Another Last Time” and while it is a little more on the somber side than the others, it has a big lead break and it is a powerful send-off for the set. I’d be glad to hear all of these songs live and I hope we get the chance to do that later this year. Recommended.

The Dirty Honey Album is out on Friday, April 23rd. Get your summer started early – music and merch can be found at the link below.

Live photo by Wayne Edwards, 2019 Sonic Temple Festival.

Links.

Dirty Honey Website, https://www.dirtyhoney.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DirtyHoneyMusic/

Dirty Honey, The Dirty Honey Album (2021)