Wednesday 15 January 2014

Vinyl Corner : Solar Halos - S/T (Album Review)

John Crouch - drums
Nora Rogers - guitars & vocals
Eddie Sanchez - bass & vocals

BIO - The Chapel Hill, North Carolina rock trio features current and former members of Horseback, Caltrop, Fin Fang Foom, and The Curtains of Night.

Luminous halos are said to be like colorful rainbows - very personal and unique to each individual witnessing the phenomena. Those fortunate enough to experience the self-titled debut from Solar Halos are sure to have their own specific and special pieces they enjoy most about the record, a very memorable aural adventure spanning six tracks and a full spectrum of heaviness.

If you're a fan of heavy rock in general, I think you'll love everything about this release, but maybe it'll be the soulful voice of Rogers and/or the commanding presence from Sanchez that you revel in above all else. Their unique, back-and-forth on the opener, "The Vast White Plains" and the last, "Resonance", are some of the most remarkable moments on the record to me, at least vocally.

Or perhaps you'll get a kick out of the way the some of the songs from Solar Halos gradually build with sonic intensity, and by the time they're about to end, you've completely lost yourself in midst of their destructive power, just like in "Migration" for example. I caught myself going ape-shit more than a couple times, wondered why the hell I stopped, then carried on without a care in the world. It's fun.

It could be the plethora of resonating riffs on this album that does it for ya. There's plenty to soak up yet "Frost" and "Tunnels" feature some of the heaviest and fascinating to me, with the first almost coated with sludge and the latter sprinkled with psychedelia and stoner greatness.

My favorite thing about the music? Easy, it's Crouch's impressive, nonstop creations with the drums. He's my leader in this new rock expedition, guiding me confidently across the frozen plains and through the foggy, stoney wilderness; he fills every void and satisfies my natural cravings for groove. I follow the beat of this amazing drummer but as much as I love his efforts, I'm considering filing a claim for pain and suffering because has my head and neck twisting and turning every which way but loose. Kidding, but the guy stays busy.

Can you tell I'm digging this stuff? Yep. The record is so fresh and it's really unlike anything else I've been hearing from the underground lately. While certainly not 'happy', the music does seem be somewhat bright and uplifting to me, which is quite the departure from the dark and dreary, gloomy doom or sludge normally filling my ears. I really wish I could let you hear a stream of the whole thing. The trio has demo versions of four out of the six tracks up on Bandcamp but I don't think they do the excellent-sounding vinyl justice. Listen to the better Soundcloud stream from the band's label.

Catch your own, personal Solar Halos vinyl from Devouter Records in Europe and Heavy Ripples Distribution in the US. Pressed on milky clear wax with splendid packaging that includes photo, paintings and design by Rogers.

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