Sonic Flower - "Sonic Flower"
(Leaf Hound Records 2003, LHR-002)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: October 2003
Debut release from a new “power quartet” from Japan, formed by a couple of members of the serial killer obsessed doom rock band Church of Misery (CD out on the infamous sludge/grind Southern Lord label). While that band, like Sunn ((o)), Boris, etc, updates the slow and heavy grind of the Sabs, Sonic Flower is apparently their outlet for the heavy 60’s/70’s rock moves of such artists as Mountain, Hendrix or, to choose some more contemporary examples groups such as Nebula or Monster Magnet. While this kind of music is pretty much a cliché, it lives or dies by the riffs and the intensity of the performance, and this has 'em both, more so than any other contemporary take on this type of music that I can think of - they hit you with the subtlety of an 18 wheeler with no brakes. There is little point in getting into the individual songs, cause they are pretty much all similar: riff/drum fill/solo/riff etc. The songs are compact (6 in 26 minutes) for this type of music, no time for excessive lengthy guitar wankings here, and surprisingly all instrumental. With lesser groups this might be considered a drawback, but it really does not detract at all here. Top rate musicianship all around with the focus on playing hard and tight rather being overly show-offish. I especially dig the drumming, which is just all over the place, virtually a solid field at times. All in all if you are a fan of the genre these folks could be your faves. Man, I would love to see them pull this stuff off live!
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Contact via snail mail c/o Leaf Hound Records; Kimuragata; Koenjiminami 2-34-8; Suginami; Tokyo; 166-0003; Japan.
Reviewed by Brian Faulkner