Stoner rock, Psychedelic rock
Waning Moon, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Wooden Shijps
The debut EP from the Swedish psych and stoner rock five-piece band Moon Coven is a pleasant surprise. Loaded with guitar layers (3), echo effect and terrific supporting bass. This genre has seen a plethora of acts particularly from this area and Moon Coven appears to have something a bit more authentic than others. They tend not to exaggerate the style and really offer an important balance. While repetitive grooves is characteristic of the genre, Moon Coven really do a nice job by including subtle accents and well positioned change-ups.
1. Ruler of Dust (7:18)
2. Amanita Kingdom I (7:03)
3. Amanita Kingdom II (8:00)
4. East (6:36)
5. We Were Conquerors (5:21)
The seven minute opener, "Ruler of Dust" sets the tone with steady groove and a robust melodies. There is nothing contrived here and the vocals bleed splendor and warmth. Each song weaves through similar melodies but does not tire. The consistency provides a concept album like feel. "Amanita Kingdom I" also clocks in at over seven minutes and accentuates more melody in the guitar riffs along with more intense percussion adding expansion and breath to the root. "Amanita Kingdom II" clocks in at exactly eight minutes and slows things down for some grass roots bluesy Swede craftsmanship. We love the slow interlude in tying back to "Ruler of Dust" melodies. Smart move to really engage the listener. The song really takes a melancholy turn. The chorus is flat-out inspiring and heartfelt. "East" picks things back up with a groovy swing appeal and repetition. Love how things kick into the next level at the 4:15 mark. A little patience is needed for this one as they look to build upon the established grooves. "We Were Conquerors" begins with some Graveyard-like exposed guitar work, which ensues a very interesting sound. Your ears need to adjust from less of a guitar onslaught and you begin to focus more on the vocal harmonies and offbeat tones. Initially we were a bit let down by this song, but after four or five rotations it makes more sense. There are some riffs that come out of tune, but it works. Hard to explain as you need to listen to the track.
We agree that listeners have a fair amount of inventory to choose from in this genre. Moon Coven have an authenticity and vibe that is hard to explain other that it is real and the least bit contrived. They blend the perfect balance of stoner and psych to really establish their own identity. Amanita Kingdom is well deserving of psych and stoner fan attention. We look forward to their sophomore release. Interestingly they just released a two-song diddy Haramukh High and Master of the Sky spanning just nine minutes or so. At first listen we were impressed, but a little disappointed they have not pulled the trigger on a full-length. - 12/12/2014
Standout Tracks: Amanita Kingdom II, East