Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Album Review: Heavy Blanket - Moon Is

Heavy Blanket
Moon Is
*** out of *****

The crushing psychedelic riffs return as Heavy Blanket's newest album, Moon Is, is the band's first new music since the live release of Earthless Meets Heavy Blanket - In A Dutch Haze back in 2014. 

The band behind Heavy Blanket is very suspect outside of the one known entity, J Mascis. Supposedly recorded with old friends ‘Pete Cougar’ and ‘Johnny Pancake’, the names and lack of any other info leads one to strongly believe that this is a J solo project; all be it one he just wants to shred on. No vocals, just guitar, bass, and drums delivering extended workouts of stoner influenced heavy rock.   

The opening "Danny" sets the tone for what is to follow as clean riffs mix with distortion and the drums slam forward. The cascading riffs and clean/fuzz tone recall a lot of late 70's influences as Thin Lizzy and Black Sabbath vibes mingle in the speaker cabinets. 

"Crushed" uses a cool mix of rumbling and distortion to push the energy forward while the title track feels the most Dinosaur Jr. sounding here; only if bass were the main instrument as the four strings lead the way while screeching guitar lines are secondary to the groove.

The stoner rock gets flushed out with the longest running effort, and album highlight, "String Along". The track uses layers of guitars, a slow marching drum beat, clinking piano, wooly distortion and lumbering bass to start, before multiple different guitar solos all fire at the same time, soaring to sonic heights that feel like they could just keep going forever.       

The very Earthless sounding metal crunch of "Eyedvoid" brings it back to solid ground and kicks into a cool tempo change halfway through while the guitar continues to rev on the heaviest effort on the album. Moon Is wraps up with "Say It To You" a plodding beat that has more screechy riffs and some distant and haunting almost vocalizations from J. While it ends on the the most demo sounding track here, fans of heavy stoner instrumental rock (reviewer included) will love the six elongated tracks on Moon Is.   

Support the artist, buy the album, peep some video below:

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