Clutching At Straws
BlackRock's first full show was Christmas Day 1997. Says the band, “It was a big party at T.O.A in Nottingham, it was nuts, we nearly burnt the pub down with our pyros !!! The place was a mess !!! Since then we done several more shows, we don't see the point of gigging for the sake of it, we like to do gigs that matter, as we like to put on a show !
…and gig they have. It took us months to finally hook up with these guys long enough to get the beat on their latest 5-song platter “Clutching At Straws”. Having toured extensively through the UK with bands like Unida, Orange Goblin, Nebula, Clutch, Dukes Of Nothing, Charger, Cathedral, Alabama Thunderpussy, The Heads, Shallow, Roadsaw, Earth Tone 9, Khang and Canvas, Blackrock knows a little bit about laying down a heavy riff.
“One of the best gigs was the UNIDA support at the Garage in London,” say the bands web site (www.blackrocktowers.com). “The room was packed. The crowd got into what we were doing from the start of the first song 'Herculaneum', our penultimate ‘wall-of-sound’ was the old KYUSS classic ‘Big Bikes’, JOHN GARCIA came on and sang a duet with Sean. The London show was the final show of a six-week UNIDA tour of Europe. It was a landmark in BlackRock history.”
Speaking of that history the band has appeared on several compilations. The best and most sought after is ‘Information Stoner Highway’. Gaining a tremendous reputation as a killer live act the band put together two self-recorded self-produced CD's for THUMB MUSIC. The second boasted the song ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ a groove-laden rocker that will go down in the halls of classic masterpieces. In 2001 the band released a split EP with US band Roadsaw featuring two spellbinding cuts ‘Loserfuel’ and ‘Indian Ropeman’
This year we finally see the official release a 5 track mini album “Clutching At Straws” available through Copro Records. Considered by the band as “Chocolate Rock” (whatever the hell that mean?), the disc plays well, like a record. First track in drops the needle on a vinyl-sounding ‘The Spectator’ which gets the blood going just in time for the groove of ‘Dr. Satans Robot’ funking its way right into the very middle of your brain. ‘We play For Trips’ rides all the way to the coast with a catchy little melody that eats it’s way into your soul. ‘Breadhead’ starts out easy enough creating a smoky pub atmosphere before the bludgeoned of Paul and Chris’ guitars. SOTSOG is such a cool song. Taken from the magic of ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ the song sings like an epic and the vocal work of Sean could not be any finer. But don’t take our word for it read what the pros have to say:
Live review from the Camden Monarch in London by Emma Johnston
“Their grubby biker Rock'n'Roll is earbashingly impressive”
Highbeam Ezine (Australia)
“Talked about as the next big thing in the heavy groove scene from the U.K”
Tangerine Ezine (USA)
“Get this disc and play it for your girlfriend - you'll get laid”
Dare Devil Ezine (Germany)
“If you like Heavy Rock, you sure like this, no, you will love it, no, you will worship it”
Stoner bands come in all shapes and sizes. The Rubes are an Ohio trio that are all about music. Rock. Pure and simple. Having done time as road dogs and journeymen, they decided in 1999 (I believe it was a Thursday) to focus on playing the music in their heads. Like men of ancient spirit they channel their energy through the history of rock music. The Rubes play it heavy and soulful. Their debut album, “Hokum”, released on Underdogma Records, is a taste of what every one of their live shows is about. Rock. Pure and simple.
Not to be misleading, but more to clarify where the band fit think The Black Crowes (if they ever got their shit together) meets Black Sabbath. Cliché’s aside, this record must be played loud for full effect! Song like ‘Snake Oil’, ‘20 Three’, ‘Change My Mind’, ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ and ‘Disguise’ must be heard fully cranked. Reminiscent of ‘70s rock, the record tracks like a classic powerhouse lots of dynamic range especially ‘Take Your Time’ and ‘To The Next Step’. Even ‘Interlude’ with it acoustic vibe (complete with flute) bring to mind the best of Traffic, Free and Allman Brothers while the hillbilly gruffness of The Ballad Of Sisyphus MacDuff keeps the rock fun.
Mace is the singer and bass player in the group. A former child actor (you may remember him from roles like Hector The Precocious Beach Urchin in the later Gidget movies, or his pivotal role as Possum Boy on the early '70's kids show "Mr. Winkie's Happy Time Town"), his life was forever changed when, at the age of five, he was working with the immortal Soupy Sales. Soupy told him, "Kid, you'll never score the big time workin' this marsupial schtick...you gotta light?". Like the apple knockin' the noggin of Newton, Mace knew what he was made to do, and he immediately set out on the road from there to here.
Brent is the guitar player. He was born in a covered wagon on the road between Kinnikinnick and Chillicothe. A natural born guitar man, Brent spent his formative years playing in local bands before forming Epitaph, a seminal metal band, with fellow Rube Greg. His time as a Rube has left him calm. His guitar influences include: Ace Frehley, K.K. Downing, Glenn Tipton, Angus and Malcolm Young, Edward Van Halen, James Hetfield, Scott Ian, and of course John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney. His musical influences include: 60's Psychedelia, 70's Arena rock, all the 80's metal hair flipping fluff, 80's speed metal, and 90's Doom/Stoner rock.
Greg Fee is the drummer. His preferences are drums and drumming, The History Channel (In Search Of... is back!) and old metal. He began playing in Epitaph, a local metal band, in '87 and that's where he met Brent (aka-Bobby Burntman). They recorded a few demo's with the almighty dream of playing metal well into old age but soon realized that confrontation and ignorance was a MUCH better prescription for keeping a band down.
Says the band on their web site, “Since playing in Classic Rock cover bands, a Blues band, and a brief stint with the swirling mass of disgust that is country music, we decided to form The Rubes.”
"Hokum", the debut album by The Rubes, is now available on Underdogma Records. Recorded in two days in September, the album shows the essence of what The Rubes are all about Music! If you would like to purchase a copy on-line via a secured credit card line, click here to buy it from our friends at Underdogma. Thank you.
Other titles worth checking out at the same time are “Roll Out The Rock” by Ironboss and “Ten Ton Baby” CD EP by Wooly Mammoth.