Fonda died. So, in tribute to this pretty sad news, I watched this age-old movie called Easy Rider all over again. A film so cvlt, we don’t quite understand anymore why ever it got to such vertiginous heights of fame. Because it is actually pretty weird. And somewhat boring to boot, by modern standards.
But the main allure is – of course – the music. Totally stoned, but aligned to the theme always, the soundtrack does provide this fil-rouge that will make you continue. Until the very bitter end.
So, feeling all fuzzy with all that stoner goodness oozing from Rider, I started looking for something modern.
Stoner Metal or – perchance to dream – some heavier Stoner / Sludge. We already had some earlier this year, like the Sticky Ones from Morass of Molasses. And some others that must remain unnamed, because they just won’t cut it. Something harsher and crunchier it was to be, that one record with a real bite.
And – lo and behold – around the corner cruised Waingro with their newest record III. This is the sort of Stoner / Sludge Metal that I looked for. It pretty much sounds like one of those roughly cut diamonds. Kinda unfinished, but complete with the proverbial sharp edges. Nothing of real beauty, but tough and resilient. And with a lot of promise for better things to come in the future.
Downturned guitars, tasty riffs, and pretty excellent solos, all is there. III positively pummelled me with this crunchy beat full of meat. A sound I sorely needed after all that fuzz and LSD on yellowed celluloid. And it comes complete with the proverbial sludge screams that emerge straight from a place punk once occupied.
And this is where the bite comes in.
You will find ferocity galore, that’s for sure. So much so that it actually spills way over the top, on this insane rush to good quality nirvana. The never-ending and overly monotonous screams are THE reason why anything that is ‘core’ in the metal multiverse proved to be relatively short-lived with the RMR deck crew.
And I get the lore of the Sludge Screams and all that. But – hey – if you want to do a punk record, then do one. If not, just yelling about the set won’t get you a great number of brownie points.
Yet again and screams aside, III stomps off to the sludgy yonder straight from New Colony. This record takes no prisoners. Waingro overheat the amps on stage something fierce for sure. This is all a colossal moshpit accident waiting to happen, it is that tough, no-nonsense metal.
Then they throw in these tasty solos all of a sudden, as in Bay Area Cult. And cool, solemn riffing in all its downturned goodness in Marked Cross. This one is so Stoner, I start to feel the weed I never had. Or was it brownies, finally? Well, let’s not go there.
And you do definitely want to stay around the end of this 12-track monster. Even if the similarity bug starts to kick in a tad too much later on da numba three. But the slow, pounding beat of Greenwater Manifesto – for instance – really made me listen up. The one with this strangely underwater solo at around two-thirds along the track.
Cardinal – last in line – again delights with this downturned, mid-tempo fuzzy stoner savoir-faire that made me go to this particular well more than once.
But let’s put a stopper into that particular bong.
III surely delivers what I craved after all that bird-watching with Fonda and Hopper. The record brings you heavily crunchy and insanely tasty Sludge and Stoner Metal galore – with a very slight whiff of grunge at times. Over some 40-minute of full immersion of metal delights and weedy pleasures. If only the vocals weren’t all that screwed, things would have gone straight to the lofty heights others usually occupy.
Yet again, real fans of Sludge and Stoner Metal will – probably – forgive them. And just set about that upending, pounding force that bores down on you like a fucking, highspeed lava stream. Because it is indeed powerful, this tune Waingro dispense. Potent and steamy enough, so that I woke up from the Byrds’ lull to the brutal realities of Canadian modern metal.
And that is exactly what I wanted, right?
Indeed so. I got it good, and then some. Oh, and rest in peace, Fonda. I still enjoyed that most famous movie of yours, this last once.
Ed’s note: If you yearn for more sludge screams, here’s Vokonis for ye. You’re welcome!