Tag Archives: heavy magazine

Record review: Bison Machine – Hoarfrost (2015, LP)

bison machine

Hamtramck, Michigan (population 22,000) might be just a tad off the beaten rock ‘n’ roll track, but stoner/heavy rock quartet Bison Machine don’t seem the types to let that bother them. Mitch Ryder (of the Detroit Wheels fame) is perhaps the most-well known musician to come from the area, but with their full-length debut Hoarfrost, Bison Machine are marking their territory in no uncertain fashion.

Fans of Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and early Queens of the Stone Age will find lots to like here; the riffs are bruising, the vocals big and the rhythm section relentless. Opener ‘Cosmic Ark’ wastes no time getting among the Iommi-esque riffs in crushing hard-rock fashion, as singer Tom Stec flaunts an impressive range as he attacks the mic. On ‘Old Moon’, the band take more of a psych approach, before punctuating the haze with riffs that could have been lifted from Zeppelin IV, while the space-y ‘Gamekeeper’s Thumb’ wanders and drones. Elsewhere, ‘Speed of Darkness’ continues the brutal riffage and closer ‘Giant’s Coffin’ finishes the album just as it began.

Bison Machine wear their influences on their sleeves, but it’s their ability to keep things varied and introduce a range of elements from the best parts of classic rock that makes them an exciting band. Besides that, these songs sound like they would shake the walls and raise the roof in a live setting.

The recent loss of talented founding guitarist John deVries, who has qualified to work as an orthopaedic surgeon, might throw a spanner in the works of the band’s future, but for now, set the dial to 1972 and crank up the volume on Hoarfrost. Bison Machine mean business.

For Heavy

Record review: Dead Letter Circus – Aesthesis (2015, LP)

dead letter circus aesthesis

It’s been somewhat of a long and mysterious wait, but Dead Letter Circus’s third album is here, and the good news is it doesn’t disappoint. The Brisbane quintet have been squirreling away since announcing their new album in February, and the result is a typically epic album of heavy rock with some new twists. Many tracks feature a softer and less cluttered approach than before, but the trademark heavy riffs and colossal choruses are still present in abundance, with vocalist Kym Benzie on fine form and newbie guitarists Clint Vincent and Luke Palmer fitting in seamlessly. Reinvention is welcome, but DLC are smart enough to evolve while staying true to their roots. Whether quiet or loud, these songs showcase a band who have the knack of making everything sound as big as everything else; which makes for an album that will not only make your eardrums bleed, but do it over repeated listens.

For Heavy