It’s all gone a bit stone rock here recently as you may have noticed, so apologies if you were hoping for the latest tech-gore-black-necro-death-mosh-noise-crab-metal-morgue-scream-apple-other-random-adjective-core album to be sneered at from on high by the contemptuous luminaries of Pigeon Towers. We’re all too busy listening to seventies worshipping beard rock to bother though. So without further ado, here’s a review of another fuzz-centric riff-gasm.
Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight is, by almost any barometer of common sense, a dreadful band name, but then in the glamorous world of stone rock, a ludicrous moniker may be the only way to lodge yourself in the consciousness of a scene with a surfeit of forgettable bands and a collective tendency towards reduced attention something something something. I forget. Hailing from the Deep South (Hertfordshire), Trippy Wicked are the sort of band who plough precisely zero new furrows, but then this is stone rock, where progress is measured in beard length, so that is no bad thing.
What they do bring on second album ‘Going Home’ is a sense of playing with every tool in the stone rock toolbox. Firstly the sound is bloody lovely, a thick fuzz soup that sounds like it’s been festering in a slow cooker for weeks, starting with the pounding drums and hefty opening riff of the opening title track and serving them well as they move into the proto-glam stomp of ‘Hillbilly Moonshine’ to the So-Cal sunshine groove of ‘Pour Me Another One.’ You may have gathered from those last two titles that what we have here is a paean to partying, smoking ‘the herb’ and whatnot, and you’d be right, but there are also tinges of the darkness of Seattle’s doomier moments here and there, and occasional big slow piledriving riffs that nicely balance out the moments where the ‘Party Hard’ attitude threatens to become tedious.
Some of the chorus lines walk a pretty fine line between a memorable hook and an annoying repetitive one, and on occasion (such as the otherwise excellent ‘Go Outside’) it falls wholeheartedly off that line and sets my teeth on edge. When it works well, (‘Up the Stakes’) it tips entirely the other way, and approaches something rather special.
The vocals in the main are more in the mould of the anonymous extra instrument than the soaringly melodious or the throat rippingly intense, but this adds to the nonchalant good time vibe that runs throughout. ‘Change your mind’ is a really nice slice of old school British Doom, its feet firmly stuck in the metalworks of 1960’s Birmingham but with a nice lilting vocal line that actually contradicts what I wrote in the last paragraph. But then the album somewhat peters out with ‘Home,’ a minute long organ bit that feels like they recorded an intro for another track and forgot to stick it in the right place so the engineer tacked it on the end. It’s an odd end to what can otherwise be described as a fulfilling slice of British riff rock.