It's one thing for a power trio hailing from trendy L.A. to go consciously against the grain, embrace a musical genre as unfashionable as classic, retro-hard rock with stoner nuances, and call themselves Sasquatch, of all things. But when that band's impressive first album handily puts contemporary efforts of most other, truly backwoods-living denizens (Bigfoot and human alike) to shame, well then the triple heaping of insult upon injury upon irony must have made for quite a few hard-to-swallow chicken-fried-steak dinners in the stoner rock wilderness. Even worse (for the competition, not the fans), Sasquatch have done it all again -- and more -- with their modestly titled second album, II. The first minor but essential change worth noting is how Sasquatch have done away with a few of their debut's '90s stoner rock vestiges (creepy spoken intros recited by characters from Deliverance, for one) -- thus allowing II to sound and feel more like a timeless hard rock album, and free from subgenre associations in most every sense. But what truly sets Sasquatch apart from most competitors (and this was true for album number one, as well) is that they are obviously a group who write songs, not riffs which are later made up to look like songs. No doubt the result of an organic, in-rehearsal songwriting approach, this distinction is more important than one may initially think. After all, it's the original process by which the founding hard rock fathers set about making albums back in the '70s: sweating out tunes through serious wood-shedding in the rehearsal room, then performing them live (or semi-live) in analog studios -- not with separate tracks assembled via Pro Tools instead of human hands (or Sasquatch paws!) The proof lies in the thick, delicious, Marshall Stack pudding of rollicking cuts like "Pleasure to Burn," "Barrel of a Gun" (boasting a chorus you just have to sing along to), and "Seven Years to Saturn" (which contradicts its spacy title with one of the disc's most grounded boogie licks), as well as when acoustic guitars are whipped out for comparatively quiet moments like "Nikki" and "Catalina." And, fans of slower (and therefore even heavier) material are also given the chance to nod along to the gigantic power grooves of "The Judge" and "What Have You Done" -- the album's only true-blue stoner rock candidate, thanks to its chugging, Kyuss-like coda. In most every other respect, though, II is quite simply a great hard rock album, period. Impossible to pigeonhole so easily, and therefore all better for it.
released 14 November 2006
Keith Gibbs: Vocals & Guitar
Rick Ferrante: Drums
Clayton Charles: Bass
This recording was made possible with the engineering and production expertise of
Craig Riggs (MAD OAK – Allston, Ma.) & (Mudrocks digg’s in Highland Park) & Mike Masters (Echo Shelter & Kings Sound LA, CA.)
Mixed by Andrew Schnieder
Mastered by Chris Gooseman (Solid Sound – Ann Arbor, Mi.)
Packaging artwork and design by Clayton Charles.
Additional mixing by Yves Pirez and Gregory Slay for track’s 6 & 10.
Peddling the finest in rock n' roll, psychedelic, stoner, doom, blues, hard rock, fuzz, metal, sludge, vintage 70's style rawk, etc, since 1995!!! True, honest music, made by real, honest people. Available on CD, vinyl, and digital.