groundhogs - thank christ for the bomb

Groundhogs: Thank Christ For The Bomb (1970)

I had no idea who the Groundhogs were when I first heard about them. It came, like so many of the albums I eventually fell for, from a list. Specifically from Decibel Magazine’s Stoner Rock special all the way back in 2007.Their Top 20 Stoner Rock Albums of All Time list was okay, if a bit,well…underwhelming. But tucked away was also an article by Scott Seward dubbed The Filthy 50, where he lists out as it states in the article “50 forgotten late 60s/early 70s thud-rock masterpieces.” And number one of that list was Thank Christ For the Bomb. When I started collecting vinyl it became the #1 must-have on my wishlist, and the good news (besides the fact you can read his article for free here) is that the album holds up superbly as a killer early hard rock record. It’s filthy, it’s thunderous, and those guitars are just sublime.

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boris - reincarnation rose

Boris: Reincarnation Rose (2021)

Boris is a band that evolves with you. I remember first discovering them when Pink was released back in 2005, and you could argue this was the start of their more “accessible phase” so maybe it was good timing, coming in at a point where the band was injecting their unique style into molds with recognizable shapes. I kept listening as they moved forward, but their previous, more drone and noise inspired works always felt distant and unconnected for me. As I grew older and experienced more music, their sonic signature continued to align closer to mine, until the point arrived where I find myself more often than not turning to the band’s entire catalog based on my mood and my emotion/mental needs. So enter Reincarnation Rose, which on the surface is a single being used to push Wata’s collaboration with Earthquaker Devices on a new fuzz pedal modeled after her tone, but on a deeper, more personal level for me marries what I originally loved in the band, and what I grew to love the more I listened, and the more I opened up to music.

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paul cauthen - room 41

Paul Cauthen: Room 41 (2019)

If you had told me a year ago that country would be the predominantly played genre when the family is together, I would have laughed in your face. Yet here we are on Day 25 of the #mayvinylchallenge, and I’m ready to talk about a country album. A recent country album. Today’s theme is around past or future live shows you wish you could see. For this one I’m going with the album that was played in my house more than any other in 2020…and 2021. It’s my wife’s favorite thing, the permanent road trip singalong album, and ever since hearing it I’ve been equally obsessed. So get your cigarettes and cocaine and let’s jump into the new outlaw country of Paul Cauthen and Room 41.

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gary clark jr. - story of sonny boy slim

Gary Clark, Jr.: The Story of Sonny Boy Slim (2015)

Day 24 of the #mayvinylchallenge takes a look at etchings, whether it’s the weird title messages scratched into the dead wax of a record or a full side sketch for those albums that don’t fit a double album format. Thinking about that brought me back to The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, the chameleon rock second record from Gary Clark, Jr. At 53 minutes it more than fits on a CD, but the vinyl version only takes up three sides, allowing for a gorgeous scratch design on Side D. So it fits the category; now let’s talk about the music.

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jack white - lazaretto

Jack White: Lazaretto (2014)

Day 18 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a “strange play” – what album has a unique feature about it when you play it? Maybe it’s a locked track, a hidden song, a continuous loop? It’s well established that Jack White is a fan of what vinyl can do, but he might have overdid it with his second solo album Lazaretto, which throws a ton of weird features onto wx with mixed results. The actual music, though? Sweet.

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howling giant - the space between worlds

Howling Giant: The Space Between Worlds (2019)

Rock is dead. There, I said it. Of course there are plenty of caveats, but the days where rock ruled the radio and modern pop world are gone. So when Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks to highlight a hidden gem or a band you can’t believe is not huge, well…I can believe it. But that won’t stop me from talking about the stoner rock goodness Howling Giant have been bringing to the table for a while now, and how their first full length The Space Between Worlds shows a band primed for whenever the tables may turn on what is deemed “popular” in music…

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