Thursday, 11 June 2015

Plainride - Return Of The Jackalope (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: July 24th 2015
Label: BeerFuzz Records

Return Of The Jackalope - Track Listing:

1. Challenger ‘69
2. Salt River
3. (The Tale Of) Private John Colter
4. Return Of The Jackalope
5. Dog
6. (The Beards Upon) Mt. Rushmore
7. Vengeance
8. The News
9. Black Wolves
10. The Grailknights
11. Beermachine
12. Devil At Your Heels
13. Warpdrive


Max Rebel - Vocals/Guitar,
Fabe van Fuzz - Guitar,
Damian The Brute - Drums,
Leo - Bass


Imagine a pack of rabid tumbleweeds sweeping across the hot desert sand of Mojave set on fire by the nearby explosion of a Dodge Challenger '69 driven into a fuel soaked pile of Orange Half-Stacks by four whole-body bearded lumberjacks dressed in bearskin.

You still follow?

Good. Now what if I tell you said lumberjacks use guitar strings as dental floss and consider alligator-wrestling the most innocent part of their childhood? There you go.

The name says it all: The Truckfighters fight trucks, we ride plains. Inspired by Stoner Rock legends like Clutch as well as European Half-Gods Planet Of Zeus and Stoner Train, we here at PLAINRIDE practice what we consider one of the finest Genres ever to emerge from the sacred ashes of the 70's.

Our recipe? Earth Rockin' Drums, A beard growth inducing Bass, Fuzzomental Guitars, the Roar of a Wolfman and a whole lotta beer. Ah yeah - and we got those nasty lil' Jackalopes all over the place. They're like... F*cking everywhere. What's up with that, man?


Plainride's debut album - Return Of The Jackalope - maybe one of excess but that doesn't stop it being one of the freshest Desert Rock/Stoner/Fuzz Rock albums you're likely to hear this year. It may lack focus here and there but this is still an outstanding album packed full of great ideas and riffs to keep you entertained through out the epic running time.

I'm not going to do a track by track analysis as there's 13 songs on the album. Plainride's debut album feels like a soundtrack to a long lost classic road movie from the 60s/70s as the album has a movie-style structure. It has a beginning, middle and an end. In between those moments you're treated to thrills and spills where the bluesy guitar riffs gives way to exciting Stoner/Fuzz Rock passages of rebellion and freedom along the desert highway. The title track - Return Of The Jackalope gives that impression and sees Plainride venture into Desert/Stoner Rock territory.

You may recognise some of these tracks from Plainride's acclaimed debut EP that they released last year. Now I'm not really a fan of bands recycling material they've released before and putting it on their debut album but I will forgive Plainride as the songs have been re-recorded and sound much better than here. All of the songs have a sense of belonging here as each song moves onto the next exciting chapter of this album.

Return Of The Jackalope is the 4th song on the album and that naturally flows onto the 5th track - Dog - An afterburner style track that features traces of Truckfighters Desert/Fuzz Rock and QOTSA style pop sensibilities. What holds it together is the grizzled vocals of lead vocalist - Max - who is on fire here. Credit must also goto the other member bands who have written one of the albums more exiting tracks as this is perfect Stoner Rock material for the incoming Summer nights and days where you can relax with your friends.

If you like your Stoner Rock on the blusier side or even on the heavier side then Plainride have all the bases covered. Plainride even venture into the world of Prog Rock with two of their songs. The 9 minute blast of The Grailknights and the final song - Warpdrive - a 15 minute epic. Both of these songs see the band explore Progressive Stoner Rock sonic territory leaving you in a volatile state. Especially with Warpdrive as it has 11 mins of static drone noises/sounds that will put some people off. Maybe Plainride should of cut this song down to a shorter stoner rock track.

You will no doubt be impressed by the earlier heavy blues rock driven tracks Vengeance and The News with Plainride singing tales of modern day outlaws fighting against their so-called enemies. Return Of The Jackalope is excessive in places and even too crazy for it's own good. Though what it has going for it and the factor that makes you coming back for more - is the sheer enjoyment the band is having. It's an addictive wild ride that pays homage to the classic Desert/Fuzz Rock scene.

The production on the album is superb and the album sounds MASSIVE from beginning to end. Return Of The Jackalope has it faults but it's nothing compared to the fuel injected adventure that lies ahead of you for the next 71 mins or so. My advice - Join the hunt for this particular Jackalope and embrace yourself with the wildest stoner rock ride this summer. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Timon at BeerFuzz Records for the promo. Return Of The Jackalope will be available to buy on CD/DD via BeerFuzz Records from July 31st 2015.

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