San Francisco veterans Disastroid have been serving up sludgy, grunge-infused rock for the better part of a decade now, refining a sound that weaves heavy riffs together with angular guitar lines, odd time signatures, and hazy walls of fuzz. As influenced by 90s noise rock as they are by modern doom and post-metal, Disastroid delivers thick, satisfying stoner rock stomp while also embracing layers of noise, tripped-out feedback, and unpredictable song structures.
The current lineup of singer/guitarist Enver Koneya, bassist Travis Williams, and drummer Braden McGraw coalesced in 2011. They’re united by a desire to make heavy music that’s loose instead of mechanical, a motivation to explore methods that make them sound bigger and more varied than a traditional rock trio, and a shared affection for the Amphetamine Reptile back-catalog. Thematically, their songs steer clear of genre cliches, touching instead on scattered aspects of modern life: technology fatigue, immigration, nuclear deterrence, the monotony of work, the existential dread of aging. Despite the subject matter, Disastroid never take themselves too seriously, injecting their live shows with an infectious sense of humor and their songwriting with math-rock quirks.
Now Disastroid return this February 14th with their new album ‘Mortal Fools’ on Heavy Psych Sounds.
Brimming with energy, 8hr Parking gets this fuzzy, feedback-laden, grimy rock album started in style. The leaning towards hyper-active stoner groove is welcome but there’s no ignoring that such a description simplifies Disastroid’s sound too much. An issue that can be found throughout the entirety of Mortal Fools.
After such high energy, Hopeless then shows just how difficult it is to pigeon hole Disastroid as it sees the band delve into a doom bag of tracks for a incendiary effort. The chug of the bass alone is enough to send quivers through the body.
The squealing guitars of the title track keep things balanced between madness and sense before erupting in glorifying style for The Crewser. Injected with a level of quirkiness, the lurching shifts are disorienting but interesting. It’s a challenging track, the first really polarising one but a slice of uniqueness none the less.
An instant good time rock dance-along is found with the super-groove of Reset before Bilge continues to push the boundaries with fizzing rhythm and chilled out vocals. Leading to one of the album’s highlights, Insect Mind. With a wildness to the guitars that haven’t been heard since the heyday of At The Drive-In, this short but very punchy number provides a hefty slice of delicious confusion.
It’s back to the doomy depths with Deep Well but rest assured it’s nowhere as simple as that. Nor is Space Rodent with its trippy rhythm that coils around the mind like a snake. Warm and deadly, it’s the cherry on top of Disastroid’s confusing but delicious cake.
Disastroid – Mortal Fools Full Track Listing:
1. 8hr Parking
3. Mortal Fools
4. The Crewser
7. Insect Mind
8. Deep Well
9. Space Rodent
Disastroid - Mortal Fools (Heavy Psych Sounds)
The Final Score - 8/10