Review Summary: Fun, heavy, and really, really stoned
To start: I'm biased about this one. Namely in that I love the hell out of stoner rock/sludge metal, even if only for the fun-ness of the weed imagery (I'm a sucker for rave movies too. What can I say" Drug culture is fun.) As a result, I love the hell out of this album. The titles alone are enough to make me want to grab a box of Nilla wafers, turn on Hendrix at Woodstock, and proceed to, in the eloquent words of Dave Chappelle, smoke myself retarded. Putting the song "Hashdealer" after "Keefmaster"" Brilliant! Whoah dude! Quit bogarting that piece bro! I paid for this ***! Now who wants greens"
If you can't tell, these guys really, really, REALLY like weed.
They write whole albums entirely devoted to ganja, and it shows through pretty damn strongly in their music. Sludge fans, you know the drill. Heavy guitars, mixdowns so bass heavy they border on hitting the brown note, lots of groove, and Black Sabbath influences hanging in the air thicker than the herb smoke in a hotboxed microbus.
Everything about it reveres 60's and 70's head culture, albeit with the distinctly modern weight one would expect. From trippy album covers (seriously, what a hell of a poster this cover must make), to long, epic songs with several very different parts a la "Electric Funeral" or "Hand of Doom", and musique concrete sampling that may very well have never happened without the guiding light of Pink Floyd.
As anyone would expect of a metal album, it's heavy. The vocals aren't the clean sound of early Electric Wizard or Sleep, but they strike a happy medium between complete normalcy and gutteral, death metal vocals, like a slightly more raspy version of some of Dopethrone's more aggressive tracks. But despite the booming sound, they never go anywhere near the doomy theatrics of Candlemass or Eyehategod. In the end, it's just stoned psychadelia, with its flirtations with evilness being cartoony and purely for the sake of sounding cool, like the auditory equivalent of watching Night of the Living Dead stoned.
But of course, it's not all good (or I'd have given it a higher rating than a 3.5). For one, there's really not the changeup you'd expect from a full length LP. The songs may be different, but aside from the samples and a brief flirtation with alternate percussion on "Trinity (Gigglebush)", the basic sounds really don't change. You get one vocal delivery, one guitar sound, one bass that I, on rather high quality headphones, can't really distinguish from the guitar, and your standard drums. Then again, I'm a bit of a stickler about using different sounds (it comes from being mostly a listener of electronic music), so I'd imagine a lot of people wouldn't notice.
Even still, the songs get a bit samey at a certain point (considering the only emotional states for these guys seems to be "stoned" and "groovy"), though luckily it's a repetition of something good.
But despite its flaws, it's a fun ride for a fan of the slower side of metal (and weed), and a trippy soundtrack for your next sesh.