16 Dec 2021 - Knut
Stoner, Psychedelic Rock, Hard Rock | Stickman Records | Release date: 03 Dec 2021
In the last month of this bleak year comes Weedpecker from Warsaw, Poland, as a fresh cool breeze of memories of summers past with their multi-layered and anarchistic take on psychedelic stoner rock. It evokes the daze of the 60s when Blue Cheer came roaring out of the rehearsal studio, Jimi Hendrix set fire to his Fender on stage and Steppenwolf´s song line ”Heavy Metal Thunder” flew through the airwaves. But also nods to more modern desert rock bands like the Norwegian band We and Alabama Thunderpussy from the US.
The sound quality is of course far better now than the crappy sound from vinyl in the 60s and 70s. Those sounded like sparks from a fireplace after spinning at a few parties. This is Weedpecker´s fourth release, the last one was in 2018, and there have been some line-up changes so that only one founding member is still in the band, guitarist/vocalist Piotr “Wyro” Dobry. The sound of the band has somewhat changed as well: the music is harder, faster and the songs are shorter. This new outing is filled with impressive fuzzy, distorted guitar work with wah-wah, echoes and frequent use of the whammy bar along with grooving bass, fast drums and keyboards that helps thicken the sound.
Hard chugging guitars hand in hand with the bass and the drums yank the listener into the first song, ”No Heartbeat Collective”, before it loosens a bit with layers of guitar work and the familiar harmonic vocal style takes over. The song has all the trademarks of this album with guitar virtuosity changing the songs, sometimes heavy, sometimes echoing over the rhythm section and sometimes with glimmering solos. The next song ”Fire Far Away” features long melodic themes from the fuzzy guitar to support the harmonies of the vocal. The song turns heavier towards the end and then fades away.
The title track ”The Stream Of Forgotten Thoughts” (a title to make your imagination run wild) starts out slow and psychedelic with drumming and glimmering guitar sounds to back the harmonic vocals. To a layer of sound effects similar to Gong´s, the wah wah guitar rises and underlines the psychedelic soundscape. ”The Trip Treatment” is a fitting title for the fourth song with its dreamy atmosphere of turn-in-turn-on-drop-out. The guitar work somewhat resembles early Fleetwood Mac. The fast-slow guitar solo over a guitar picking is quite effective.
The blues inspiration certainly shines through in the next song ”Big Brain Monsters” that is a heavy song all the way through with some guitar-work sounding like Jimi Hendrix at his heaviest, like ”Voodoo Child”. The song slides over in grooving bass and drumming that holds back while the guitar plays a bluesy solo before the vocals are back. We are in for a song with some really big stage stoner rock potential with ”Endless Extensions of Good Vibrations”. The start of the song is dreamy and slow with shimmering guitars before a shift comes that eventually leads to impressive diverse guitar work with guitar solos swirling around each other over chugging to accompany vocals. Never a dull moment.
The seventh song, ”Unusual Perceptions” might in its psychedelic approach be called dreamy sludge metal, if there ever was such a genre. The guitar floats in and out of the soundscape until the tempo shifts and the song becomes heavier with keyboards and wordless vocals filling the sonics. A high-pitched solo guitar fills the air for a short while until the wah-wah is back. The last song ”Symbiotic Nova” shows a band using all the effective tricks to make an anarchistic Stoner Rock song with lots of psychedelic rock influences in the mid-section before the song shifts to full speed Hard Rock with guitars out in full force.
While the previous release leaned more towards the 70s Pink Floyd-like sound and music, this new release leans more towards the Hard Rock sound of the late 60s and early 70s, but is of course very modernized. That means a new musical direction for the band as they stay true to their roots at the same time. That is a bold move as many fans of a certain band always want the same as before, with only slight alterations. This band has developed their winning formula in an exciting direction and one can only admire the musicianship on this release and hope that this will bring a bright new future for these Poles.