Stoner rock. Desert rock. Psychedelic rock.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s a style of music that has been vastly under-appreciated with only the odd band like Kyuss, Spiritual Beggars and Orange Goblin breaking out and making it. Fortunately the flame still burns quite brightly within the underground through bands new and old. One of the newer ones is Wollongong power trio Kaleidoscope, who proudly fly the flag on their self-titled debut EP.
Over the 23 minute timeframe, Kaleidoscope sends the listener on a brief musical journey – maybe assisted by substances, who knows? Starting things off is “The Towers”, an eight-minute composition that builds from a trippy, atmospheric clean guitar to a wah-drenched psych out with Anthony Sweeney’s vocals almost a spirit guide leading one to oblivion. “Malibu” uses a similar formula, but twists into a miniature jam driven by the fuzzy bass lines of Darcy Wall and the pounding drum work from Kane Watsford. “Desert” follows, very reminiscent of something that Tumbleweed would have turned out in the early 1990s. It all leads to the final track, the burning and ripping “Sandhurst”, so insanely heavy it could blow out speakers.
As Kaleidoscope is a DIY release, the production is not uber-slick or polished and sounds quite echoey at times. Regardless, there is a charming vibe underpinning it all. This is one of the hardest things to achieve in this genre and they pull it off well.
Kaleidoscope is a solid introduction to one of the up and comers of the Australian stoner rock genre, with plenty of potential just bursting to be tapped.
1. The Towers