Sunday 17 November 2013

Sasquatch - IV (Album Review)

IV cover art

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 24/9/2013
Label : Small Stone Recordings
IV, album track listing :

1) The Message
2) Eye Of The Storm
3) Sweet Lady
4) Money
5) Smoke Signal
6) Wolves At My Door
7) Me And You
8) Corner
9) Drawing Flies

Bio :

After bursting onto the stoner rock scene with, not one, but two, closely packed studio albums (conveniently named Sasquatch I and II) in 2004 and ’06, the power trio went subterranean until 2010 before resurfacing with a new lineup and propulsive third opus (entitled, you guessed it, III), to the relief of many impatient fans and the Small Stone Records Board of Directors.

More importantly though, this career-establishing trilogy managed to seduce consumers and critics: beginning with the debut’s roaring-down-the-highway riffs, hypnotic grooves and occasional forays into southern rock; continuing with the sophomore LP’s increasingly focused, hook-laden hard rock classicism (standout “Barrel of a Gun” lacked only payola to become a massive radio hit); and culminating in the third album’s heightened states of fuzz-distortion and earth-rumbling power chords, capable of reducing Marshall stacks to so much plastic pudding.

All the while, Sasquatch steadily brought their advanced heavy rock ‘theories’ to the people, as they demolished stages across the globe alongside the likes of Blue Cheer, Nebula, Unida, Solace and Fatso Jetson, to name but a few. Most recently, the band was sighted marauding across Europe with Small Stone label mates Roadsaw & Dixie Witch.  Meanwhile, Sasquatch’s music has been tapped to soundtrack everything from movies (Jersey Girl), to television shows (FX’s Sons of Anarchy, A&E's Dog The Bounty Hunter, the

CW’s The Supernatural, and MTV’s Viva La Bam), to video games (NHL 2005, American Chopper, and Monster Garage).

Now the time has finally come for Sasquatch members Keith Gibbs (guitar, vox), Jason Casanova (bass) and Rick Ferrante (drums) to deliver a brand-spanking new album, whose chosen title – IV – was as inevitable as the urgent need shared by discerning fans of superior, song-oriented rock to HEAR IT – and pronto!

The Band : 

Keith Gibbs |Guitar, Vox
Rick Ferrante: Drums | Percussion
Jason Casanova | Bass, Filing, Red tape
Guest vocals on "Smoke Signal" courtesy of Gaff.
Guest guitar swirls on “Smoke Signal” courtesy of Hammy.


Sasquatch’s fourth album, classically titled ‘IV’ showcases top drawer song writing, groove-laden riffery, and exceptionally fat bass. The opening track gets the foot stomping right away with ‘The Message’. A clear and concise message is delivered indeed; that Sasquatch ROCK! The second track is where things start to get interesting however. ‘Eye of the Storm’ begins with a spiralling riff that tonally is a great example of the California sound. The vocals are absolutely brilliant, melodious, catchy, and full of doom.

 ‘Sweet Lady’ is one groovy blues! Opening with a funky wah-drenched riff, Sasquatch lay down a huge groove, with some real warm tones. Keith Gibbs’s guitar tone is nothing short of incredible for this genre, and his bluesy vocal delivery gets stuck in the head easily. ‘Money’ is another sludge/stoner behemoth, with earth shattering bass and pounding rhythms.

‘Smoke Signal’ features a guest vocal from Marc Gaffney and man does he deliver a fine performance. The riffs are super heavy, and loaded with power while the band creates a psychedelic cacophony at the songs climax. Next track, ‘Wolves At My Door’ picks up the tempo nicely, with hard rocking riffs and leads. The vocals fight alongside the guitar at points but in a good way, because tension is always followed by release with the swirling guitar leads taking off at the end of the chorus! ‘Me and You’ is another fine bluesy track. The importance of classic rock song writing shouldn’t be underestimated and the band has nailed this.

The album closes with two fantastic tracks. ‘Corner’ features some steam rolling riffs that would be the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon’s drive along route 66. ‘Drawing Flies’ begins with a phased out riff that culminates in a slow open groove. The singing on this album has been very impressive, capturing all the important balance between catchiness and heaviness. The fact is every instrument on this album sounds great!

I thoroughly recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of the Stoner/Sludge/Doom genres, as well as Rock music in general, as Sasquatch have recorded something to please everyone!

Words by : James Thorne

You can buy it here

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