Dune Sea - Dune Sea - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dune Sea - Dune Sea

by Bill Golembeski Rating:9 Release Date:2035-05-03
Dune Sea - Dune Sea
Dune Sea - Dune Sea

This is a thumping complex (and may I say joyful?) hard rockin’ psych album.

I suppose this is stoner rock, and I really like Kadavar’s dense sound; but if that band is the poster child for a vacation trip to slow groove-laden riff land, let’s just say Dune Sea’s music is (to sort of quote the Great Procol Harum), a lighter shade of pall.

In my 1972 high school bible, Circus Magazine, there was an ad for Deep Purple’s Machine Head that simply stated: Ballsy. Well, this album is a delightful throwback to that time when bands thumped complex hard-rockin' music. This record also echoes the pulsing cock-a-hoop thrill of Uriah Heep when they burned through the grooves of Look at Yourself and Demons and Wizards. And there’s also a garage pumping purity of (my beloved) Pink Fairies with their Never Never Land “Teenage Rebel” fine fettled strut.

But really, the sound recalls Hawkwind, in songs like “Brainstorm,” “Master of the Universe,” and “The Psychedelic Warlords (Disappear in Smoke).”  Sure, this record rocks, but the tunes are threaded with primitive sonic electronic sounds. And that primitive sonic stuff initiates the grooves of (the catchy) “Pentobarbital and Ethanol,” until the drums kick the guitars into a tough orbit that circles the phased vocals. Yeah, this is deep psych stuff with its share of heavy riffs, but it’s also music that eases the gas pedal in mid-song and thereby increases the value of the next groove. And the tempos change on a dime. This music does, indeed, thump, but that thump is complex with weirdly electronic signals that penetrate the cosmos.

The tunes are perfect psychedelic rides. The second song, “Dune Sea,” hits heavy chords, wavy keyboards, an abrupt tempo change, and a great guitar solo. And the band, in true Psych fashion, sing about Freedom. “Future” bursts with vital rock; the keyboards tickle the tune, and the vocals sing about laser swords and Uranus smoking cigars. This music could be humorous if it wasn’t so good. “Morphine” is more of the same. The vocals are distant, cosmic, while the guitars slice through the songs, until a short but lovely organ break ushers in a weird coda that ends too quickly.

Bands back in the Circus days of my 70’s life did that sort of thing.

“Green” explodes in a rock ‘n’ roll sort of way with an almost folk melody hidden in its groove.

More space surrounds the music. “Astrodelic Breakdown” has (almost) comical robotic vocals. But, again, the music takes the listener to the very edge of the rock universe, so it’s all pretty cool. And the tune morphs into heavy music that seconds that ad for Deep Purple’s Machine Head album that just said, Ballsy. “Bounty Hunter” continues to press the gas pedal and simply rocks in a very cosmic and melodic manner.

“Awake” bids farewell to the sight of dear planet Earth with more robotic vocals that are the perfect foil to the tough psych music.

Did I mention that this record is a joy to hear?

Big insistent chords end the album as “Cosmic Playground” rocks with a galactic vibe. The music echoes Blue Oyster Cult in its dramatic “Astronomy” days. It’s melodic; it’s cosmic, and it rocks like an asteroid cutting through the heavy space and creating spooky vibrations.

This isn’t a jam band. It’s hard rock, but the songs are carefully constructed with moments of precise heavy drama, yet interludes emerge, sometimes in mid-song, to leaven the load.

The album, which comes all the way from Trondheim, Norway, is a bit short at thirty-one minutes plus. But it rocks; it rocks in a very heavy jelly psych way; it thumps a lot; its electronics twirl the dials into intergalactic space; the occasional guitar rips through the heavens like a rock ‘n’ roll meteor; and the entire record simply pops with a whole lot of shakin’ that avoids the dense mire of stoner (carved in granite) rock.

So, yeah, it’s a great listen because this is, indeed, a thumping complex (and may I say joyous!) hard rockin’ psych album.


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