Do you remember the ’70s when the hairy youngsters of the day just smoked or ingested anything in sight until it fumed out of their ears?1) Weed, mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, and plain dope were the fashionable substances back then. Ah, the things people did to themselves for free love2) and cosmic wisdom. Extended reach of the brain was all the rage. So you could get a taste of some elusive alien knowledge or something. Only that this brutal treatment fried a lot of said brains back into the stone age. Not that things improved a lot ever since, of course. Just sayin’.
But not all is lost from that time of trial and tribulation. There are a few remarkable side effects that reverberate about modern soundscapes to this day. One of them is a heap of woozy rock ‘n’ roll that they don’t make quite that way anymore. In a way, psychedelic fumes were inhaled, and Psych Rock exhaled again, that kind of thing. I wonder to this day how some of those artists actually were able to produce anything coherent in their spaced-out state of mind. But that’s fodder for another post.
Now, luckily, Aawks stepped forward with their newest record Heavy on the Cosmic. You’ll be greeted with their mission statement first. A scratchy radio voice from the past boasting to you about all of Peyote Queen’s delights. Now, the band’s style definitely sounds less fuzzy and underground than Electric Wizard, but still snazzy enough to prick the ears of the review committee over here. And the record took its clues from the latter – to an extent, at least. Just head over to Electric Traveller that really won’t hide its influences very much.
Now, much of that groovy goodness sails in on a mid-tempo, somewhat sludgy rock wave, pregnant with brutal beats, courtesy of the drummer. A trip back to psychedelic times, sandwiched in between Black Sabbath, Gorilla Pulp, early Hex A.D., and Pink Floyd. Heavy and Stoner Rock that won’t hide its origins, nor should it.
The band really lets loose on the numba two track Sunshine Apparitions. This one really impressed with its changes of tempi from lively to stately and its choice of wah-wah at certain moments. But the old-style solo really takes the cake, even if it strangely sits way back in the mix. The second ray of sunshine on Heavy on the Cosmic truly is Space City. A slow-motion avalanche of sludgy and doomy goodness that again dazzled us with its measured use of wah-wah and an evil little solo that perfectly sits where it should this time. But never say die before you heard it all. Peeling Away – the last track – really pulls out all the stops. The RMR crew just got a kick out off that crazed Ozzy sound, old-style Sabbath in a new robe. There you go.
I said above that they don’t make ’em records anymore like this. Well, Heavy on the Cosmic truly gets close to those colorful times full of hair and rocky innovation. The ’70s probably were this decade of true discovery. That’s when the devil’s children loudly performed all those unspeakable things on guitars, drums, and whiny vocals. And all of that ran on the fumes wafting over from that famed summer of ’69.
Aawks perfectly captured that moment in time – from many decades ago. So, go ahead and let ‘er roar. It’s time for some afternoons of psychedelic fun and cosmic vibes straight from yer loudspeakers. A sonic time machine high on heavy, sludgy, fuzzy, and rocky vibes. Neatly arranged and expertly delivered. Go for it.