Friday, 16 February 2007

Clouds are the kind of heavy-rock band that make me want to get drunk and drive a van into a desert sunset. The music conjures up a classic stoner scene then obliterates it with alcoholic aggression like a biker gang rolling up on a beach party. “New Amnesia” opens with a screech of white feedback before plowing forward into a set of riffs that call to mind Blue Cheer at their heaviest. The band downshifts into the heavy blues of “Mountain Jim” just before rocketing into the raging hardcore that is “Magic Hater”—which itself then takes a sudden shift midway into an absolutely unhinged cover of Frank Zappa’s “Willie The Pimp.” What strikes me upon each listen is that on the surface, things sound dangerously loose but the foundation is rock solid. The musicianship is so confident that they manage to toe the line with slop without ever stepping over it. Not an easy feat by any means and this style adds the perfect dose of attitude. For those who need a comparison, Clouds’ music has a lot in common with the later output from the label Man’s Ruin. It’s fuzzed out rock, punk and blues with a definite 1970s vibe, but unlike those records this one goes out with an insane nineteen-minute saxophone laced dub track. If there is such a thing as forward-looking retro rock, this is it. Legendary Demo indeed.

Legendary Demo is out now on Hydra Head

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