For all the hoop and hah about so-called stoner rock bands bringing back the glorious mess of the late '60s and early'70s jam few bands actually live up to the promise. Most crumble under the weight, become parodies of the music or deliver material that's
morphed into some sort of neoism. Thankfully, the lads from Earthless are having none of that. On this latest, three-song release the San Diego-based trio goes full steam ahead with a 20-minute epic called "Godspeed" which takes listeners on a long, circuitous
and smoke-inflected ride. It's got groove, it's got meaning. Isiah Mitchell works his mojo with freaky, snaky lead lines of the kind that haven't been heard on recordings since Ten Years After rocked tha house at Woodstock. Meanwhile, the rhythm section of bassist
Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba put the boogie in the collective butt of an ever-expanding universe (expanding under the tip of your fingernail and behind your reddened eyes) throughout. The record's second and third offerings, "Sonic Prayer"
and "Cherry Red," offer more of the same and yet something that is wholly different than their predecessors. "Prayer" comes off like Ted Nugent sitting in with Hawkwind after having ingested the ashes of Sun Ra; "Cherry" feels like the pop song that
Amplified Heat has always wanted to write but just hasn't gotten around to yet. Don't listen to this motherhumper with expectations, just listen, absorb and repeat. If there's a true revitalization of Vietnam-era rock (Band of Gypsies, etc.) in the works then Earthless is leading the way with bravery, boldness and a whole lot of heart. Viva Earthless!
2. Sonic Prayer
3. Cherry Red