ExplodingThis band was formed by Thomas Corpse, who is also lead guitarist for “Jess and the Ancient Ones” and “Deathchain”, however I must confess right now I am not overly familiar with either of these bands so I will be judging this purely based on what I am hearing rather than comparing to his other works.

I guess before we get started I should state the obvious, and that is that this band are in no way an actual orchestra, Whilst I personally hate the term, a lot of people will probably categorise this band as “stoner rock”.

After starting things off with an upbeat, straight up 70’s style rock track, I thought I had this band’s sound pegged straight away, however after this track the momentum breaks and gives way to a mellow piece that I would almost call a ballad, and with the exception of one other abrasive riff driven track later on, this is surprisingly a very mellow album throughout, with most of the tracks being very drawn out low tempo jams.

On the first listen I was a little disappointed by this but after repeated listens the album has really grown on me.

There is a lot to take in here, with each track introducing new instrumentation, from soulful brass, organ, harmonica, piano etc, it is the sort of album that does not offer immediate satisfaction but more something that rewards patience.

The stand out for me throughout the course of the album is the powerful female vocals, in an era where “female fronted” is almost always code for overproduced, ultra cheesy power metal, it’s refreshing to hear a female vocalist finding her own voice and delivering a powerful performance that doesn’t rely on multiple layers and auto tune (naming no names but you all know the bands I am talking about).

The broad influences on this album are very apparent from the outset, with a heavy focus on late 60’s & 70’s experimental rock.

With this album put together from recordings of jam sessions, (with the second part containing the rest of the recordings due to arrive next year) this approach feeds my only real criticism of this album, and that is that I would have liked a bit more dynamics to this as an album, where as it stands at times it does sound a little like a collection of songs rather than a complete album. The two upbeat heavier tracks on the album show great potential to mix up the pace for this band which is something that I would like to hear explored further on the next record.

Overall this is an interesting album from an equally interesting project, it has a lot of great ideas, and with some truly brilliant moments in there, it has a potential to it that could one day be refined into something much more.

(8/10 Mark Gleed)