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Colorscene [Explicit]
Colorscene [Explicit]

5.0 out of 5 stars UBER ROCK REVIEW, 13 Feb. 2013
If you are like me and you believe that first impressions last forever then you will immediately be smiling when picking up a copy of this debut album from UK stoner quartet Goat Leaf. Everything about this nine track disc exudes pure class, from the Frank Kozik influenced cover art to the earth shattering riffs that make up the band's sound it all reinforces the fact that you have just purchased a winner of an album.

Speaking of Mr Kozik, after just a few listens I'm suddenly thinking 'Colorscene' would not have been out of place on his Man's Ruin label amongst the likes of Fu Manchu, Kyuss and Electric Wizard, it has that same sort of timeless quality that the aforementioned bands all seemed to nail to the post with their individual sounds.

'Colorscene' then was recorded in one week at Orion Studios back in September of 2010 and you can almost see the incense billowing out of the speakers as the opening riff of 'Monkey Chains & Rat Kings' explodes in front of your naked, steaming eyes, engineer Steve Ellis really has helped create an organic vibe here for sure. Think dry as a bone Black Sabbath riffs driving along on a punk rock attitude and you'll understand why in just one second under four minutes I'm already feeling mentally exhausted.

Thankfully for this old goat, the pace does drop for 'Epizoom' which has a strutting Sixties vibe not unlike primetime Burning Tree, and you can hear (yes hear) the valves glowing in guitarist John Hodgson's amp head by the end of this baby. Pure rock fury indeed. This psyched out groove is also the driving force behind numbers such as 'Oceania' and the epic album closer 'Sweet Sorrow', the latter track also finally allowing me to pinpoint the only possible chink I can detect in Goat Leaf's otherwise wonderfully impenetrable musical armour, that being singer Jonny Maycock has an uncanny ability to, "from time to time", sound a hell of a lot like a certain vocalist from late Eighties rockers L.A. Guns. Something that certainly gives you, the listener, all sorts of musical juxtapositions to get your head around whilst the album unfolds. I mean the Alice In Chains inspired wah wah riffage of 'Eversky' may be epic in all its proportions but do you really expect Phil Lewis to be singing over it? This added dimension to Goat Leaf's sound however makes for some very interesting listening, and by the end of the aforementioned 'Eversky' and the album's brooding title track, I was actually starting to recall aspects of Geffen era Warrior Soul rather than the Hollywood Vampires themselves.

I guess the question to ask yourself whilst listening to Goat Leaf is does anyone in the U.K. sound anything like them right now? I think that perhaps to a man (or woman) you will all answer "No" to that one, as the band somehow manages to seamlessly bridge at least three musical genres whilst still end up sounding new and fresh (it must be that timeless quality I mentioned earlier kicking in). So if I were to recommend one Goat Leaf song to put my audacious claim to the test then it would be lucky album track number seven 'Sour Dust', a sonic fireball of a tune that would also make a perfect single for the band.

Look, whatever I think of this album it's ultimately up to you to make up your own minds about Goat Leaf and their rather unique sound, so check out their Myspace page below and get yourself a copy of 'Colorscene'. Remember first impressions count for everything.

A Lack Of Oxygen : Tales Of Crashing Satellites
A Lack Of Oxygen : Tales Of Crashing Satellites
Price: £13.30

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UBER ROCK REVIEW, 29 Jan. 2013
It's second album time for the eight legged rock `n' roll groove machine, that is South Yorkshire's Goat Leaf, and immediately I'm wondering just how exactly do they follow a debut as outstanding as `Colourscene'? Do the guys simply do more of the same and see if the rolling stoner ball of fury they unleash gathers more people moss in the process or do they go out on a limb and go do a Diamond Head (a la 'Canterbury') on us all for the sake of mainstream appeal?

Well as the album's lead cut `A Lack Of Oxygen' blasts out from my speakers I'm pleased to say that initially it looks like Jonny Maycock (vocals), Mat Washington (percussion), David A Main (bass) and John Hodgson (guitar) collectively have enough sense to stay in the former camp. Having finally witnessed the band live back in the summer of 2012 (something that really does have to be experienced by everyone in the Überverse before they shuffle off this mortal coil) this track is the perfect introduction to a band who not so much embrace the stoner genre as reshape the whole bloody thing into something very much their own. It's loose heavy and groovy as f..k, but most importantly it more than simply a reinterpretation of what Sabbath or Zeppelin did so well many decades before. Nah, this is more than just reinterpretation it's musical reinvention on a grand scale.

Okay granted there may be josh stick scented wafts of bands such as Graveyard and Priestess swirling around within the fabric of tracks such as `Moot Point' and `Wolfbag' but when you've got Steve Ellis once again back behind the desk in charge of sonic manipulation and Jaime Gomez Arellano (renowned for Ghost's `Opus Eponymous')doing the mix you know this album is never in a million years going to be record full of auto tuned techno metal. In fact on first listen the organic nature of the curiously monikered `A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites' is so natural and earthy that you do have to wonder if the lads like to experiment a little bit with certain substances in the pursuit of songwriting perfection, and that more than chemical enhanced Madchester vibe I had picked up on when I caught them live is never more so prevalent than during `The Truth Be Told', a track that sounds like it had just been wrote for luck.

So with all these extra influences seeping into Goat Leaf's (not so) difficult second album it is on the echo drenched blues rock work out `One Last Line' where the guys do finally edge towards "doing a Diamond Head", as the quartet gently ease themselves into previously uncharted musical territories with the minimum amount of fuss. But for those of you thinking Goat Leaf might have suddenly got aspirations for being something they most certainly are not then check out the frenzied almost punk rock intensity of the album's anthemic midway point `Ain't Got Time To Bleed', which with it's infectious "I Dream Of You In Black And White" refrain enters your head in a way that only an early Abel Ferrara movie would ever have previously dared to. Likewise `Herr H Atom' and `Bar Witness' are tracks so expansive and colossal that they have to be captured in audio widescreen, the band sounding capacious, corpulent and totally compelling.

Seriously folks if Goat Leaf have achieved anything with `A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites' then it is that they have produced ten tracks of aesthetically significant rock music in an age of ever growing musical mediocrity - and as you know that's what Uber Rock is here to fight, right?

So you know what to do next right? Get out there and buy yourself a copy of `A Lack of Oxygen - Tales of Crashing Satellites' when it is released on January 28th 2013, it's going to bring lightning to our nations, just when we need it most.

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