Coming to you from Périgueux, France, is the stoner rock group Soundcrawler, with their debut album “The Dead-End Host.” Soundcrawler consists of Rémy Pocquet (vocals), Robin Cauchois (drums), Paul Parsat (guitar/backing vocals), Firouze Pirolley (bass) and Clément Reviriego (guitar/backing vocals).
“The Dead-End Host” is a strong offering of nine tracks featuring compelling riffs, groove-laden rhythms and dynamic bass lines. The thing I really enjoyed about this album is the variation from track to track. Starting with the first three tracks, ‘Raiders,’ ‘Burning Scales,’ and ‘A God to Feed,’ guitarists Parsat and Reviriego shoot the tempo forward with hard hitting, fuzz-fused riffs and solos driven by wah-wah pedals. But then Soundcrawler switches direction with the slower tempo, blues-influenced track ‘Long Coma Slow.’ Pocquet shows his range on this track with his soulful vocals. ‘Souls From the Trash’ is my favorite track on the album. The distorted riff that dominates this track is dark and monstrous, and it wormed its way into my psyche instantly. Now before I tell you about the next track, I have to tell you that Pirolley‘s bass is a key element throughout this album, and is why I enjoyed “The Dead-End Host” so much. The bass is not buried like on so many albums I listen to, and when it is paired with Cauchois‘s drums, they take control and never let go on ‘The Plastic Truth.’ I had to chuckle when I listened to ‘Civil.’ It’s not that it is a bad song, but the highlighted riff took me down memory lane and reminded me of classic arcade game music. ‘Infinite Genocide’ is just straight up aggressively tense rock and roll, with a perfect balance of all the instruments and vocals. The album finishes with a hauntingly beautiful acoustic song, ‘All the Seconds Left.’
For me, I can hear Soundcrawler‘s influences ranging from 70’s bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple to 90’s bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden, and even today’s bands like Mastodon and Electric Wizard. And that is a win for everyone.