Grandloom – Sunburst

If there were a yearly contest held for the best psychedelic rock newcomers, this German trio could easily make it to the top. Although by their words they are described as a mixture of stoner, psychedelic, blues, space and 70′s hard rock, their base-sound relies mostly on the aforementioned psychedelic approach.

Grandloom are not here to re-invent the wheel, but with great spontaneity and quite good musicianship they make it to the play-offs of the psyche rock league. Though, I might heavily criticize the sound (production) of the record which is kind of too clammy for what I am accustomed to, the Germans are certainly on the right path with Sunburst.

There are a whole lot of bands in the German underground who play in a similar subgenre as Grandloom, so it wouldn’t be anything prodigious if you hear something from Colour Haze, Rotor or My Sleeping Karma as well as some others, but Grandloom are not thieves, so don’t accuse them for searching their own spot under the psychedelic sky.

Sunburst is a totally instrumental recording with splutters of “pure“ heavy psychedelia achieved by a guitar, bass and drums. And tubes of course. The album opens with Orbit Wobbler which is the first of three “over-10-minutes“ slabs and as that, the first spinal momentum of the record. The first almost two minutes of the song opens straight by classic heavy riffing, until a psychedelic interlude swims in and drops the ball on the ground. But not for too long. Here comes a sudden riff, thus we have a proof that the stoner label is justified. Another psychedelic intercrossing which keeps on repeating and crescending to the closing riffy part of the song leads to very nice solo guitarwork and the feeling that follows is that Grandloom is pretty listenable and concise in their efforts.

A fear which I always have when getting a new band rooted in psychedelia is that a particular record may sound really forced, which makes it sound generic. Luckily, I am not dealing with that kind of feeling this time. Their understanding of what psychedelic rock is about comes to the fore through the second slab named Apollo Moon. If there is something called sludgy psychedelia which emphasizes melody, this particular track is that.

Larry Fairy has a kind of southern rock feel, kicking in with a nice acoustic guitar melody, while The Holy Letter is the most straightforwardly headbanging track off the album. After some time of the album’s playtime, it’s obvious that no matter how many psychedelic and stoner subgenres are based upon his imperial majesty, the riff, Grandloom prove that the European (notably German) school of these genres relies much more on melody than is the case with the bands from the U.S.

Earthvalley is a bastard that cuts deep with mosntrous riffs and twists your mind with an extended psyche jam, which clocking for almost 12 minutes puts a seal on the Sunburst experiment. An experiment which, as already stated, doesn’t chase for originality and trends, but in a very solid way manifests the band’s talent.

Tracklist:

01. Orbit Wobbler
02. Woodbridge
03. Apollo Moon
04. Larry Fairy
05. The Holy Letter
06. Earthvalley

Line-up:

* Hans – bass
* Rischi – drums
* Tom – guitar

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/grandloom

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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