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Mushroom River Band | Simsalabim | review | stoner | rock | Lollipop

The Mushroom River Band

Simsalabim (MeteorCity)
by Brian Varney

Along with Orange Goblin, The Mushroom River Band seem to be doing the most to shed the "stoner rock" tag. This fast'n'furious slab features a very metal drum sound (check out that intro on the title track) and two to three minute songs that slam into each other, barely ending before the next song has begun. Tempos are about as fast you can get without being labeled "extreme," there are several Tipton/Downing-flavored guitar duels and vocalist extraordinaire Spice (formerly of Spiritual Beggars) screams as much as he sings, but this is no metal album. But, as I said, it's not stoner rock either, something they go to great lengths to prove.

So what is it then? Fuck if I know... Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be the expert on this shit, but there's just too many damn genres and sub-genres for me to keep up. In the grand scheme of things (i.e. whether or not this is any good), genre is not really that important, OK? Be satisfied with the fact that I can definitely tell you it isn't stoner rock.

So then, is it good? That, too, is difficult to say. The playing and singing are unquestionably top notch, full of enthusiasm and expertise. It makes me bob my head. It sounds good loud. But (and I bet you knew there was a "but" coming) there is a shortage of tunes. There's plenty of wham-slam-bam thumping to be had, but for the most part, by the time I'm ten seconds into a song I've already forgotten the last one. For every memorable song, like "Make It Happen," there are two or three that simply refuse to stick to the gray matter. This isn't necessarily a fatal flaw, since there's immediate gratification galore to be had on this disc, but is this something you'll be pulling out in five years? Fuck if I know...
(PO Box 40322 Albuquerque, NM 87196)  

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