As you MAY have noticed, I haven't posted for a while now....for a lot of reasons which I don't find necessary to mention. Anyway I decided to put Stoned Sun Vibrations on hiatus and concentrate my efforts to Downtuned Magazine ('n' Radio). Many of you probably know that Downtuned Mag is dedicated to the Greek heavy rock scene but since I've started Downtuned Radio too, I'm thinking of including posts about releases from all over the world. Apparently I'm going to keep a ratio but we'll see how it'll evolve.
From now on, you can find me on Downtuned Mag. And for any bands interested in reviewing/including them in radio's rotation etc., you can come in touch with me through the contact form over there. As I wrote above. I'll try to keep a ratio and at least in the beginning I'll try to "promote" mostly "smaller", more independent bands that deserve your attention.
So I want to thank each and everyone of you out there who supported, read, promoted and helped this blog. Also a big fat thanks to all the bands which helped SSV in their own way.
That's all for now folks! Thanks again! Maybe SSV will be back someday. Or maybe Downtuned will become better than SSV.... Who knows.
Be well and stay heavy!
PS: Rock Trips Mixtapes will be back soon.... They'll be the only thing posted from now on. Perhaps some other personal comps too.


Dala Sun - Sala Dun (2010)

Dala Sun stands for the full, hot-burning sun. And "Sala Dun", although it was released in December '10, is one of the most suitable soundtracks for the upcoming summer...

Dala Sun is a Greek band coming from Patra. At least for me, they popped up from nowhere with a killer debut which honestly kicked my head off.
The interesting part is that this is a totally DIY release. No labels, no record-stores, nothing commercial at all. They play, promote, share their music by themselves and only for this, they gained my respect.

Now let's pass to their music...Imagine yourself in the middle of a desert, a very hot summer day. Dala Sun's heavy riffs burn every inch of your skin like sun's rays while their downtuned bass lines hit you like summer's light wind mixed up with hot sand. Their stoner grooves vibrating your body as a herd of frenzy bisons approaching you. In normal conditions that would be at least torturing but when you get this feeling from tunes like these, then it's really awesome.

This album is as solid as it can be, it has the right sound and production and you definitely can't be bored to hear it again and again. Music is heavy and doomy but not monolithic in a Sleep-way. It has its up-tempo parts (which are plenty), sometimes in a southern hard rock way (see "Fuck It Away" or "My Girl My Time") and others in a punk one (see "Drunk"). They have also some heavy psych aspects in their sound but they're mainly in the feeling and not in songs' structure (see "Electric Magician").

Vocals are great too, sleepy and slothful but also pissed off when needed and the riffs coming in the right places when you're expecting to hear them. If I had to choose one track as record's highlight it would be "Saladun Theme" which summarizes everything Dala Sun is all about.

These guys definitely got talent in songwriting as well as performing their music with passion and soul. Their debut is a remarkable good record and they made me expect much more from them (I don't think I'll be disappointed). It surely would have been in my best records list for 2010 but I had the chance to hear it after year's change. For anyone who hasn't check it, make yourself a favor, listen to it and let the sun burn you...


MySpace # Facebook

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Fister / The Lion's Daughter - And Their Masters Bled For Days (2011)

A brand new 12" split which just came out, featuring Fister and The Lion's Daughter. First of all, I loved the artwork (created by Coby Ellison) and I would check this release only for that even if I didn't have any further info.

It contains 7 tracks, three by Fister and four by The Lion's Daughter. Fister was mentioned before in Stoned Sun Vibrations, when they released "Bronsonic" (a fine piece of sludge/doom). So, in this split I found all the things I liked about them. Thick and swampish sludge with monolithic riffs violating your brain cells. Add some muddy raw vocals and a bass tuned as bottom as the depths of hell and you have Fister.

Now as for The Lion's Daughter, I didn't have the chance to hear them since now so it's my first contact with their work. As Fister, they're from St.Louis Missouri and from what I found they have one more release, a cassette titled "Forgotten Masters". I have to say that I liked them even if they aren't in my usual kind of listenings. Faster, more up-tempo and aggressive from Fister but raw, heavy and muddy as well. They're moving in crust paths with black metal influences (especially in the guitar's riffs). They fit me at all and surely I'll have them in mind from now on.

Overall, it's an awesome release that fans of heavy sound should not miss. The perfect soundtrack for human's savage insticts. Cheers!

*Thanks to Kenny from Fister for coming in touch

You can order it or download it (for free) from Pissfork's site or from bands' bandcamp pages (Fister / The Lion's Daughter)

The Lion's Daughter website # Fister website # Coby Ellison's Website

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This Is Nowhere - This Is Nowhere 7" (2011)

Just yesterday I was first introduced to This Is Nowhere, a Greek new-psych band from Thessaloniki and they really got my full attention from the first second…

Formed in 2009, they have released this s/t 7” and a soundtrack for Bryony Lavery’s play “Frozen” (which I didn’t have the chance to check it yet, except its last track which can be found in their myspace).

Their 7” consists of two tracks, “Perfect Helpless” and “Wilderness Part 2”, which are excellent pieces of dark downtuned bluesy-punk, lost in space paths.

“Perfect Helpless” is moving in a noisier, up-tempo way and has some wonderful bursts in it. While “Wilderness Part 2” is slower and takes you in a mesmerizing trip deep in their universe. What a great contrast of “light” and “shadow”!

If Spacemen 3, Wooden Shjips, Black Angels mean something to you then check these bass-worshippers and definitely you won’t be disappointed. Their trip to nowhere has just begun…


MySpace # Facebook # Buy

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Los Disidentes del Sucio Motel - Soundtrack From The Motion Picture (2010)

I have to say that I liked these guys from the moment I saw their artwork. I liked the whole action movie concept at their album's cover, title etc.Then, I put the album on and an action movie came out of my speakers. A pure heavy rock blast! Damn this is goood!

"Soundtrack from the motion picture" is LDDSM's first full album. Coming from France, this 5-piece definitely know how high-voltage rock must be played. Following the way of Queens of the Stone Age (but quite heavier), taking the fuzz fury of Fu Manchu and Dozer's vibes, they managed to create a solid 12-track album which totally keeps you from start until the end.

The riffs spreading all over the place, it has a great groovy steady rhythm and rock'n'roll keyboards give an awesome touch (in parts, I would like to hear some more of them). Personally I loved "Brotherhood", "Backdoor Woman" which has a nice addition of female vocals in it (would like to hear some more as well),  "No Pity For The Cheaters" as well as "Somewhere Else To Drive" which is a country/bluesy track, where they probably show their love to Johny Cash...

Overall, it is a completely fine album with good production, fast and catchy tunes and surely you're going to hear it again and again. Only one suggestion, as a listener I think that needs more and thicker bass especially at some points. But this doesn't change album's value. Excellent first release! Check it out.


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Denizen - Whispering Wild Stories (2011)

Coming from the South of France, Denizen bring us their third release "Whispering Wild Stories", two years after their second one. Although it's self-released, they managed to have Nick Zampiello and Rob Gonella in mastering (as in their previous album) who have also worked with bands like Keelhaul, Converge, Scissorfight which proved an excellent choice. The artwork was trusted to Jimbob Isaac (Taint's guitarist/vocalist).

Here we have a straight-in-your-face heavy rock album flavored with a pinch of hardcore attitude. The 70's feeling, especially in guitar riffing, is more obvious and I think the album has a more groovy vibe all over it. They also pay their tribute to their roots by covering Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love" (which sounds goood if you ask me).

A great killer drunk-driven release which really rocks from the first minute 'til the end, blowing its energy all over the place. Just put it on and have a great time listening to it (a couple of beers will be welcome as well!). What more can you ask for? Cheers!
*Thanks to Colin from the band for coming in touch!


Bandcamp # MySpace # Facebook

Slow Dazzle - Songs Of The Universe (2010)

Slow Dazzle is a trio (David Hibberd, Paul Mackey, Martin Dench) coming from UK formed in 2009 but current line-up was settled in summer of 2010. They have released a seven-track EP called "Songs Of The Universe" and at the time they work on their debut album which going to be released later this year.

Now about their EP.. Although it has good samples of songwriting, it lacks in production. For example songs like "Sunfighter" loose a lot of its dynamic due to production. Of course, that's something I understand cause it's their first work, it's self-released etc. I think that if you catch them in a gig, it'll sound much better and powerful.
Generally their songs are mid-tempo with some bursts and slow parts here and there. Personally, I liked more the "Sunfighter", a great rock driven track with a little punk in it (in which the voice reminds me a british oi/punk band but I can't remember which one) and "Song Of The Universe" which has a great guitar solo in it and it can be considered as their psych moment.

Overall, it's a promising release and shows that these mates love what they do. I would like to see some more heaviness in their sound, a thicker production and parts like the one that "Song Of The Universe" ends.
I'll wait to check their full album too cause from a couple of tracks I listened (they are on MySpace), sound more complete and more close to what I would like to hear (and they sound more like the band do now).

*Thanks to Martin from Slow Dazzle for coming in touch




The Grand Astoria - Omnipresence (2011)

In the beginning of 2011, Grand Astoria released their 3rd work titled "Omnipresence". Back then, I didn't post it because it was everywhere on the net (with great success I have to say) so pretty much everyone has heard it. Couple of days ago the band came in touch with me about their album. And I thought that it would be a good idea to bring it back in the surface.

I liked this release very much and I put it to this year's more exciting albums at once. It is an eclectic let's say mixture of music variations that I fancy. Starting from the punk aggression, moving to stoner groove, then some psych tripiness, a touch of southern blues-iness, finishing with some funky beat and then starting all over again. Of course the point isn't to mix them up but to do it successfully. And in this case, these guys done it by creating a totally addictive, interesting and above all, one of the best releases for this year.

As a conclusion, The Grand Astoria is one of the leading forces of the constantly growing Russian heavy scene and a great introduction to it for the newcomers. So for those who didn't have the chance to check it, here it is...

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Probably most of you are familiar with this great psych/exp/folk 4-piece band from Brighton, Massachusetts. But maybe you don't know (personally I recently discovered it) that they made all their releases, three albums and two EPs, available for free download through their bandcamp page. So don't miss the chance to get them. Cheers!



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The Great Society Mind Destroyers

Coming from Chicago, TGSMD is a mind-blowing psych/exp rock band which you're going to love it. Exceptional heavy psych jams which explode in the sky and take you to a trip far away on a smoke cloud. Enough said. Just listen to them.
In their bandcamp page all their works are available for free download, except from their last one "Spirit Smoke" which was released in February 2011 where you can check one track of this cassette. "The Transcendental Sounds of the Buddha Smile & the Naked Consciousness" is an excellent start point to their universe. And of course, their latest release (which really rocks!) which can be purchased through bandcamp.
Really, don't miss them.

Bandcamp # MySpace # Facebook

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Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family - My Ancestors (1974)

Awesome afro-psych rock from Zambia released back in '74. Summer is almost here and what's better from a fuzzy rock storm like this one.
Maybe it sounds quite simplistic for the average western-music listener's tastes but hey this got it all. Groovy rhythms, thumbing beat, great fuzz guitar and creole vocals which fit perfectly. The production isn't good but we talking about Africa in 70's here..
Above all, the music here is played with heart and soul and that's what makes "My Ancestors" a goood record. As I said, a great company for the summer. Cheers!


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Lid - In The Mushroom (1997)

Lid was a side-project formed in 1996 by Trouble's singer Eric Wagner and Anathema's guitarist Danny Cavanagh. They released their one and only album "In The Mushroom" in 1997. I have seen it described as heavy psych but to be honest this is an unsuccessful description. Heavy/alternative rock would be a better one. It has its moments and some songs that get you hooked but overall is an average album. Although it deserves a few hearings as a quite interesting release. It also features covers of Monkees and Beatles songs.


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Aguaturbia - Psychedelic Drugstore (1970)

Aguaturbia is a Chilean band formed in 1968 and disbanded in 1972. "Psychedelic Drugstore" is actually a compilation of their two albums ("Aguaturbia" and "Volumen 2"). From what I found its release date is 1993 but I'm not sure about it. No matter what, these songs were recorded 40 years ago and they're still fuckin' brilliant.

I mean listen to "Rollin' n' Tumblin" and "Heartbreaker". Or "Waterfall". Absolutely excellent heavy blues rock in Blue Cheer's paths. Don't let female vocals mislead you that they're moving in softer waves. They're groovy, they have soul, they totally rock. In music's overall feeling you can see influences of what US psych scene has offered.

Indisputably they were one of the leading underground acts in South America's scene at this point and this is their testament which I believe you should check out.


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System 13 - The Mothership Has Landed (2000)

I had this album in my collection for quite a long time but never give it the appropriate attention (probably I hadn't heard it at all). So I put it in my player few days ago and I found it very hard to stop it. This shit is good.
System 13 is an Aussie band and they released this EP before they split up (according to their Myspace: "System 13 disbanded almost immediately after this release due to emotional pressure (yes the girlfriend/boyfriend in a band scene...)").
So what to expect...A super-charged EP, with plenty of riffs in it and some funky keyboards and percussion here and there. It has in it this fuzzy groovy feeling which can be found in bands like Fu Manchu (the vocals reminds me Scott Hill in times too) and a space attitude, not so much in the music but in the lyrics' theme. Dirty and smooth, heavy and "funny", it's a highly enjoyable release at all. Personal favorites are "Cosmic Dream" and "Space Doctor". Cheers!




Sharp Nine - Untimed (1995)

Time for a trip to Seattle's scene via Sweden. No matter how much I searched for these guys, nothing was found except that they're Swedish and this is their only release. Nine tracks of quality grunge in the veins of Soundgarden and very close to Seattle's sound generally. Well-structed songs, great instrumental parts and some "always-reliable" Swedish guitar play.
As a mate said: "The gritty Seattle sound is authentically blended with typical Scandinavian guitar expertise making Sharp Nine's Untimed equal to or better than Pearl Jam's latest effort."


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Fu Manchu - Kept Between The Trees (1990)

First recordings by Fu Manchu released back in 1990, including 3 tracks. Elements from their Virulence era are obvious as well as lots of Melvins influences.

Monster Magnet - The Most Radical Doubt Is The Father Of Cognition (bootleg 1992)

Here is another live bootleg for all Monster Magnet's fans out there, recorded at FZW, Dortmund Germany (04/04/2011). Cheers!

Solarfeast - Gossamer (1995)

Here is an interesting release for those into stoner/desert scene. Gossamer is Solarfeast's first (and only release) back from 1995. The band's line-up is interesting too: Armand (Nick) Nava (The Jack Saints, Hornss), Chris Cockrell (Vic Du Monte, Kyuss), Mike Moracha (The Jack Saints, Hornss), Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson) and it was produced by Brant Bjork.

Basically it's  desert rock mixed up with psych, noise and mainly with punk (more than you expect). Obviously the production isn't its highlight but it has this 90's dirty feeling and definitely you have some great time listening to it. So, if you like plenty of punk in your stoner (or vice versa) check this piece of the scene's history.


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