When contemplating this review I had intended to prevaricate – to tease you in with some history or some such opening hook, but it is now apparent that my only recourse is to state a bold, simple fact that will have many of you choking into your beer in the assumption that I have gone stark, staring mad. Deep breath, here goes: In ‘East side story’, Flashfalcon and Los disidentes del sucio motel have made the best stoner album since Kyuss’ ‘…and the circus leaves town’ notwithstanding the fact that this is a split EP, offering up four tracks apiece from the aforementioned acts.
I’ll let that sink in a while.
Ok… you still there? It seems I have some justification to make.
Rewind to a couple of years back and a cartoonish release arrived on my desk entitled ‘soundtrack from the motion picture’ by Los disidentes del sucio motel. The subsequent review was fulsome in its praise, aside from the caveat that the band occasionally drew a little too liberally from the Homme song-book, but on their portion of this disc there is no longer any such doubt. Flashfalcon, meanwhile, have never come across my desk at all, but here they unleash 4 tracks that are simply brilliant, insisting upon your attention from the opening feedback and then holding it in a vice like grip until its dizzying conclusion. The band are quite simply masters of the stoner riff and their half of this excellent split EP is solid, unadulterated gold from start to finish.
It is Flashfalcon who open ‘east side story’ and it is an aural treat that hard rock fans will not want to miss out upon. Opening track ‘ridin’ with the mavericks’, a track that wastes no time on pleasantries, simply storming out of the gates with a pure, old school stoner riff, all wah guitar and vocal harmonies. The sound is warm and familiar, as if we’re treading the same desert sand as Kyuss, but then an almighty riff is pealed out that gives Flashfalcon the right to simply own this new piece of the territory they’re carving out, and you’re left flattened by the power of a band who couple the guitar solos of Hendrix with the solid concrete riffing of Monster Magnet and the breezy desert atmosphere of kyuss. It’s an awe-inspiring opening and from that moment you’re hooked – hell I’d played this EP five times before I even started writing which should give you some idea of how easy it is to get lost in the smoky haze conjured by these songs. ‘Low life’ is a long lost cousin to QOTSA’s ‘Rated R’ album, with crooned vocals and unhinged guitars all powered along by the pummelling drum track and queasy tempo changes. It’s as if, somewhere between bongs, Flashfalcon tapped into a rich vein of creativity that they just have to play out or lose forever and you can bet your last dollar that the band put their very souls into this EP. ‘Sir Dany Jack’ (a cover of LDDSM) is up next and it announces its present with a pure old-school driving riff that worships at the altar of Black Sabbath as seen through the eyes of John Garcia’s Slo Burn project. It’s hard to pin down the best thing about the track – Paco Billy’s smoke-grizzled vocals; the hard, driving guitars of Rick “The Pickaxe Handle” Thunder and Riff Raffson or the stoned groove laid down by the rhythm section of Gus Van Snake (drums) and Nick Valiant (bass) –they’re all spot on and it’s more-or-less the perfect example of its genre. Last, but by no means least, we have the almighty groove of ‘numb’ which features the EP’s best set of vocal harmonies yet and a riff so thick you could use it to stun an elephant. Their contribution is stunning, the riffs astounding and we haven’t even got to LDDSM yet.
With Flashfalcon a fading memory, LDDSM have no intention of letting their music be overpowered by the opposition. A massive, punkish riff floods your consciousness as the band kick off with ‘the one’s’, a kind of hybrid of stoner and thrash (a mind boggling combination) that sees the band step out of their earlier QOTSA fixation to create a niche that is entirely their own – slightly punkish, slightly thrash with a stoner vibe and some great guitar playing from Francky and Johnny Maverick who peel off some almighty riffs throughout the song. As good as their last release was, this is LDDSM amped up to the max, fuelled by nitrous and out for a rumble and the result is nothing short of gobsmacking. We knew they’d be good… but hardly this good. ‘Lucha Libre’ (featuring a guest appearance from Christophe Agius, the French Wrestling speaker) is the potential result of The Ramones mating with James Hetfield and Dave Wyndorff – a fast, furious punky beast of a track all stripped down to the chrome and beating pistons with a seriously cool outro and then you’re onto a flasfalcon cover in the form of ‘eternal lonesome boy’ a track with an opening riff suspiciously similar to that of Maiden’s ‘Wicker man’. Placing their own unique spin on the track, LDDSM up the tempo and give the track a very thorough airing with guitars and vocals maxed out throughout the performance. Final track honours go to ‘Persia’ – a track that emphasises the band’s raw rock ‘n’ roll spirit in a way that would make Lemmy approve. A bit punk, very raw and all rock it’s a fine way to conclude an EP that scores perfect tens across the board.
There is no excuse, no possible reason NOT to at least check these two awesome acts out. With the LP available via the Deadlight label (click here) and a couple of sample tracks below you can check the veracity of this review for yourself, but whatever you do, don’t go without at least checking these bands out – they are unfathomably good.