Saturday 18 May 2013

Isaak - The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound - Reissue (Album Review)

The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound cover art

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 25/6/2013
Label: Small Stone Recordings

The  Longer The Bearded The Harder The Sound, album track listing:

  1. Haywire
  2. Under Siege
  3. Breaking Balance
  4. Flood
  5. Red (The Colour Of God)
  6. Rest Of The Sun
  7. Adrift
  8. Hypotesis
  9. Fearless
  10. Wrathchild
  11. The Right Time
  12. Isolation 2.0


Long regarded as a rising force within Italy’s underground stoner rock scene, where they were previously known as Gandhi’s Gunn, Genoa’s freshly renamed Isaak is now preparing to spread their bruising bombast across the world with the help of Detroit, MI’s Small Stone Records.

The quartet, which is comprised of vocalist Hobo, guitarist Scazzi, bassist Maso and drummer Andre, was first inspired into action by the legendary works of the major names of American stoner rock – namely Corrosion of Conformity, Fu Manchu and Clutch

Come October 2012 the Gandhi's Gunn name was retired and Isaak born, just in time for the band’s signing with Small Stone, which is now happy to announce the imminent global reissue of The Longer The Beard, The Harder The Sound, in March 2013.

Newly expanded with four tracks (including covers of Pink Floyd’s "Fearless" and Iron Maiden’s “Wrathchild"), the album has also been remixed by Eric Hoegemeyer at Brooklyn, NY’s Tree Laboratory and mastered by Chris Goosman at Ann Arbor, MI’s Baseline Audio Labs.


Line Up:

Giacomo H. Boeddu: vocals
Francesco Raimondi: guitars
Massimo Perasso: bass
Andrea Tabbi' De Bernardi: drums

Additonal Musicians:
Bernardo Russo: synth on "Hypotesis" and "Flood"
Emanuele Eimani Milletti: sitar on "Hypotesis"
Giulia Piras: additonal vocals on "Flood"


There isn’t much to say about this record other than, “it rocks.”

As clichéd as that sounds, it couldn’t be more truthful. This record, from start to finish, is a fun, rockin’ good time. Isaak (formerly Gandhi’s Gunn) have not re-invented the wheel per se, but they do what they do extremely effectively. They are a band that consistently deliver a heavy, rockin’ good time.

First things, first. I want to talk about the sweet guitar tone they have managed to put together. The more I listened to it, the more one phrase kept coming to my mind—“Garage Doom.” Isaak employs a blistering, raw guitar tone throughout the entire record, and man does it work. I find myself air guitar-ing and humming these riffs out loud along with the record. The record’s got raw, heavy guitars and massive amounts of distortion on the bass—what more could you possibly ask for? Oh that’s right, GROOVE. Especially on tracks like “Rest of the Sun” and “The Right Time” Isaak bring rock solid, motorcycle-riding groove riffs. Way too infectious, way too good.

The vocals were something I was afraid of at first. A lot of times when bands try to sing clean, it comes off really corny. The best part of Isaak is that they do have a clean singer, one I would liken to Shinedown (ONLY because I don’t know who else to compare to), only far less processed and infinitely more genuine. Isaak have a wicked raw vocal approach too, but it fits with their rough sound. The vocals are gravely, but there is a strong sense of melody present on this record, as well as an almost anthemic quality to the choruses. It’s a wonderful compliment to everything else going on.

More than anything, I think this record is fun. That’s a weird word to use when describing a stoner rock release, but I think its fitting. The band moves along at a steady clip, grooving and rocking their way to the finish line.  This is a band that can be used as party jams or just good old-fashioned road trip music. Above all else though, they ROCK.

Words by : Chris Centanni

 As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links and buying their merch. This record is available everywhere now. Thanks as always Scott @ SS Recordings for the hook up.