Groan are a trip-tastic obsession for me, their releases are genuinely filled with a sense of mystery and character. They are a lot different to the many stoner doom bands out there and a lot of this comes from the vocal tone of Mazzereth and their uncanny knack of producing tunes that stick around in your mind. Thus, when you get a new Groan release in your paws, you need to savour it, and indeed I have. This has been on constant rotation for the last few weeks before I have put finger to computer.
Groan give what you expect, opener ‘Women of Doom’ is a dreamy landscape of epic proportions and the band have a video for this that shows classic films and hammer horror inspiration with such film temptresses as Caroline Munro and Elizabeth Taylor, if you ever considered them as such that is! ‘Drug Lord’ leaves nothing to the imagination and with most of Groan’s music, the band make you feel like you are tripping without the presence of any additional substances, a good skill to have.
‘Slice of that Vibe’ is big and bold and stands out as being more rocking, a little more brash rather than trippy and there is plenty of classic 70’s rock here to get your motor running, it’s a done deal really, a great track. The closing tune is even bigger, ‘Citadel of Chaos’ has everything, apart from being one of their longest tracks ever, its possesses a lot of doom, but never a depressive sense, there is always a positive spin on things with this group’s music, a lot has to do with the production and sound but the majority is Messereth’s vocal tone. Throughout this EP you will be hooked immediately whilst being immersed in lyrical mysticism and you should be expelling a lot of happy thoughts. A few of the songs make more use of the guitar, they are not so much groove orientated, the guitars shine a little more for the better here, a nice touch as this shows a stellar leap forward in terms of song arrangements.
‘Ride the Snake’ is groovy, doomy and trippy, it’s a great release and a big leap forward for this very talented and in some respects unique UK stoner doom collective.
(8/10 Paul Maddison)