The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound – Ekranoplan

My Rating: 6/10
Genre/ Tags: Psychedelic, Space Rock, Stoner Rock

Good morning folks! How’s it going on this fine Thursday? So did any of you visitors notice the web address today? If not, take a quick peek. There is no longer “wordpress.com” in the address, how exciting! We now have the domain name “Styrofoamdrone.com” all to ourselves. Isn’t that great? I think it is.

Today’s band hails from San Francisco, California, and they have been active since the year 2005 when they released their first self-titled album. They put it out on their very own “Sunburst Sound” label, and it was only limited to 500 copies, so good luck tracking that one down. Since that first album, the band has signed to Tee Pee Records, and they have released two full lengths with Tee Pee, 2007’s “Ekranoplan” and 2009’s “When Sweet Sleep Returned”.

Today we have their 2007 record “Ekranoplan” on our minds. It was their first album to be released to the masses, and it’s quite a hard hitting album. It picks up pretty quickly in the beginning, starting off with the self-titled track “Ekranoplan”, and with the tap of the cymbal, it all begins. The hard and heavy guitars are immediately in yr face, followed by lead singer Jefferson Marshall’s vocals, who is already screaming and carrying on as soon as he can be heard in the song. The following track “Mosquito Lantern” takes a step back on the vocals and mellows out a bit this time, but the musical heaviness is still entirely present, but that’s part of the bands appeal. The heaviness is a sprawling mess of cymbal crashes and absolutely face melting guitar solos about two and half minutes in. The track also starts off with that same familiar cymbal tap before it kicks off into something more, being reminiscent of the intro to the first track “Ekranoplan”. Following “Mosquito Latern” is the track “Rudy on the Corner”, which again has that same cymbal tap for an intro, but this time it’s a bit slower. That being said, this is one of the slower jams on the record. It’s songs like this that really bring the term “stoner-rock” to mind. The vocals are calmed again in this song, which can be much more inviting than the screaming from the first track. Coming up next on the album would be in the instrumental track “Summon the Vardig”. It’s a 6 minute jam session featuring an immense bass line that’s present throughout, and again featuring that same cymbal tap to start off the song. It’s actually starting to get a bit old – the cymbal tap kicks off this song the same way it did for first 3 songs on the album. The only difference with it would be the tempo of the song. But moving on. I’m going to skip “Occult Roots” and move on to “Message by the Mistral and Thunderclap”, because once again this song is counted off by the tap of the drummers cymbal. I don’t know if it’s a big deal to anybody, but practically every song on this record starts off the same way. Not to mention that the songs themselves might seem to overlap at times, with the calmer intros that lead into the heavy, face melting material. The next track “D. Brown” is yet again brought in with the faster tap of the cymbal, but this track stands out by far on the album. It’s has a bluesy feel to it and it sounds like it’s fueled by nothing but attitude and the love for straight up jamming. The final 2 minutes of the track break it all down, even with the keyboards coming into play. At first, the next track “The Chocolate Maiden’s Misty Summer Morning” sounds like it’s going to be different, but sure enough that count off on the cymbal comes back, and then you’re right in the midst of another AHSS jam out. This song is instrumental as well except for the howl of the vocals towards the end, which leads us into the last track of the album, “Gemini 9”, which is also free of vocals entirely. I guess that would make this one more of an authentic instrumental track as opposed to “The Chocolate Maiden’s Misty Summer Morning”….but that’s all for today, be sure to check back real soon. I’m going to see The Strange Boys tonight, so hopefully I’ll have some videos for you guys tomorrow. See you then!

Ekranoplan: Tracklist
1.) Ekranoplan
2.) Mosquito Lantern
3.) Rudy on the Corner
4.) Summon the Vardig
5.) Occult Roots
6.) Message by Mistral and Thunderclap
7.) D. Brown
8.) The Chocolate Maiden’s Misty Summer Morning
9.) Gemini 9

The Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound on Myspace
Ekranoplan – BUY! directly from Tee Pee
When Sweet Sleep Returned – BUY! directly from Tee Pee

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