Monday, June 11, 2012
Lonely Kamel - Dust Devil
It's way past time to give Lonely Kamel some Ripple love. I was mesmerized by their last album, Blues for the Dead on Transubstans Records. Mesmerized to the point of never actually writing up a review. But damn, if they didn't nail the retro-70's vibe that I love so much. Big guitars, massive Hendrixian flourishes, heavy bass. Simply put, it was a killer album.
Late last year, the boys came rushing back with their follow-up, Dust Devil. Now signed to Napalm Records, I didn't know what to think at first. Napalm is a great label, but not one I'd originally associated with a retro-fuzzy, stoner-minded band like Lonely Kamel. How was it going to sound? Were the boys gonna have to change their sound to fit in with the more metal-minded offerings of the Napalm catalog? Was I about to lose one of my favorite bands?
Hell, no! Dust Devil, if anything, drops deeper into the retro-70's canyon, mining away into the deep crevices of hard-rocking blues a la early-Zep, Free, Taste, and Blodwyn Pig. Mix that genetic blueprient with the fired up stoner-blitz of Kyuss, a dash of Fu Manchu, and a sacrifice on the alter of Clutch, and we got what may have been one of my missed Top Ten albums of 2011.
"Grim Reaper" is pure blues. Hard core, bottom-heavy, riff mad blues. Cut fresh from the marble of a 70's blues rock band. Vocals rough but clean. Riffs precise and heavy as crap when they wanna be. That vibe doesn't last too long though, as "Evil Man" races right into the dust-swept deserts and canyons of Kyuss. Killer stoner rock here, revved up and hype, not doomy. A sandstorm of riffs and bashing drums.
"Blues for the Dead" appropriately enough mixes the first two songs to create a blues-minded, doom-toned, stoner-fried freaked out, fuzzed assault. "Rotten Seed" picks up the fuzz, lays down a manic beat, and races to places unknown. Great guitar riffs here, chopping the song up, varying the tempo, and dropping into a KISS-esque choral break. Dig the killer bass breakdown leading into the space guitar solo jam middle section. Damn, is it good as it blends right into the plodding, doom-laden, downtempo blues intro of "Seventh Son."
Lonely Kamel are a band I don't hear bandied about as much as names like Lo-Pan, or even our own Mos Generator, but damn if they aren't right there in the upper eschelon of stoner rock bands. Someday, I still gotta review Blues for the Dead, because that album really deserves a Ripple write up, but in the mean time, I offer you, oh waverider, Dust Devil. May the beloved fuzz rock the cobwebs from your brain.