Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Stoned Jesus - 'The Harvest' (Album Review)

By: Victor van Ommen

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 24/02/2015
Label: Independent



“The Harvest” is undeniably good, hitting the spots just right. There’s power in the slow cuts “Black Church” and “Rituals of the Sun,” which puts Stoned Jesus’s fine focus on display. Other cuts like “Youth For Sale” or the aforementioned “Wound” stroke our desire to hear something that’s both heavy and catchy, earning “The Harvest” a spot in one’s record collection.

‘The Harvest’ DD track listing:

1). Here Come The Robot
2). Wound
3). Rituals of the Sun
4). YFS
5). Silkworm Confessions
6). Black Church

The Review:

Ukranian three piece Stoned Jesus presented their third and most cohesive album in February of this year. That was a time in which Europe was inching its way towards sunnier days and warmer weather, which resulted in a rush on tickets for the various stoner rock festivals across the continent. Stoned Jesus played to these circumstances well, announcing their appearance at Desertfest Berlin as well as releasing their new album, “The Harvest.” The reviews that came rolling in were overwhelmingly positive, some even marking it as album of the year. Now, nine months down the line, I’m presented with the task to review said album, which leaves me with a challenge, because everything has already been said about it and you’ve probably already heard it. The only question that remains is, how has it stood up to the test of time?

So let’s assume I don’t need to tell you how “Here Come the Robots” starts the album with a welcomed shift in focus from the bands past. You probably then also don’t need to be told that ”Wound, ” with its one-liner chorus, is so absolutely addictive and primed for a live setting, which is ironic considering the story the song tells of downtime and other trying moments of tour life. Stoned Jesus also brush up against topics of war and share their views on local politics, making them more than just sun, babes, and hot rods. These songs are all sung to the tune of heavy riffing that’s been sucked through a filter of a clear-minded production, eliminating the dust that hangs in the air on other stoner rock albums like “Action is Go.” It’s a formula that has worked for Truckfighters and all the bands they have since picked up on Fuzzorama Records, so it makes sense that Stoned Jesus would also be such a success.

So here we are, nine months after the initial release date, asking ourselves the question if it stood the test of time. My answer is, though I wouldn’t have dusted off these mp3s had it not been for the task The Sludgelord bestowed upon me, that yes, it still rocks. “The Harvest” is undeniably good, hitting the spots just right. There’s power in the slow cuts “Black Church” and “Rituals of the Sun,” which puts Stoned Jesus’s fine focus on display. Other cuts like “Youth For Sale” or the aforementioned “Wound” stroke our desire to hear something that’s both heavy and catchy, earning “The Harvest” a spot in one’s record collection. And that’s because they have crossed their t’s and dotted their i’s. Everything from the musicianship, look, and production is in the right place. I’ll always knock the band for their inane name, but “The Harvest” remains a good trip.

‘The Harvest’ is available here

FFO: Truckfighters, High Priests of Saturn, Acrimony, Snakerider

Band info:  bandcamp | facebook

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