Half Gramme of Soma – Groove is Black

Just when you thought Monster Magnet had finished off all the drugs and there was nothing left for their faithful, enter Greece’s Half Gramme of Soma stage left to prove it’s not what you take, but how you take it. The words “under the influence” seem somewhat facile when you consider the band’s muscle-relaxant name, album-opening eulogy about psychedelic transitioning, and artwork that visually recreates the following song about a lonely space aubergine (or eggplant if you don’t speak the Queen’s), but here we are, and thankfully said intoxicants don’t seem to have hindered HGOS’ ability to pen a quality space rock opera while tripping all the balls. Four years and multiple personnel changes since 2013’s self-titled release, the Athens-based band return with a harsher, fuzzier, more defined and infinitely improved, if mildly less original, take on the stoner blueprint that does away with the limp vocals and classic rock of said debut to furrow a more tried-and-tested path while violating everything with industrial-grade sandpaper. Existing for the most part in the darker, sludgier end of the stoner spectrum, the most obvious comparisons would be fellow countrymen Planet Of Zeus or early Truckfighters, but with a wider variety of influences bubbling under the surface. At one end of the scale, a track like ‘Red Kiss’ shows a real appreciation of delta blues, and at the other we have ‘Jerk’, which is basically Down covering Clutch, with elements of grunge (‘No Man’s God’), boogie woogie (‘Mega Rollo Booster’) and doom (‘Gloomy Eggplant’) padding out the journey in between, all underpinned by a groove so single-minded, at times it can feel like skydiving through the eye of a turtle. Greece’s economy may still be slower than a constipated elephant trying to get through security at Heathrow, but in the Brave New World, where riffs are currency, Half Gramme of Soma are millionaires.

Half Gramme of Soma - Groove



Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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