Every single one of us has a band or even several that we always keep a close eye on no matter what, and the moment we see new material we instantly leap on it! For me, one of those bands is the very tasteful instrumental psychedelic rock act of greatness that is The Re-Stoned. These guys already released one of my favorite records of the year earlier in June so I figured it wasn’t going to be at least until January until this powerhouse would come back. But holy shit did they prove me wrong! With their second record in 2018, The Re-Stoned does nothing but impress with “Ram’s Head”.
What made me really enjoy the previous album, “Stories of the Astral Lizard”, is how other-worldly psychedelic the album was in its entirety. The whole record took psychedelia to a completely different level, and I truly didn’t know what to expect going into “Ram’s Head”. What I got was a far cry from what “Stories of the Astral Lizard” created, but all six tracks from this riff-filled journey through smoke undoubtedly have the distinct sound that The Re-Stoned has become synonymous with despite tackling many different approaches to the wide spectrum of psychedelic rock. There’s not one single piece from “Ram’s Head” that isn’t absolutely overflowing with brilliant stoner elements and glorious apex psychedelia that pull you right into the thick fog that’s perpetually circling The Re-Stoned as this Russian act continues to show us just how the style is done. And don’t let my words make you think the psychedelic elements are put on the back burner here as they’re still as important as ever with it standing in the spotlight as always with it holding hands with the tantalizing riffs that allow “Ram’s Head” to become the unforgettable tour de force of stoner rock excellence that it is. There are extremely few bands that can make a record like this even once, but The Re-Stoned continues to defy the odds by doing it with virtually every album so far, and “Ram’s Head” is just another beautiful testament to that.
I’m truly at a crossroads here. I thought I had my Top Albums list pretty much done with “Stories of the Astral Lizard” having its own cozy slot, but now I’m in the same situation I was with Black Space Riders: one band has put out two phenomenal albums, and now I have to pick which one I like more. In every way possible, “Ram’s Head” is the epitome of modern stoner rock with that psychedelic edge and instrumental weaponry that has allowed The Re-Stoned to be such a revered act in the Russian live scene as well as an act that is an absolute must-hear thanks to places like Bandcamp. I’m always open to being proven wrong, but I wouldn’t be shocked if “Ram’s Head” ends up being the last great stop for stoner rock in 2018.
LISTEN to “Ram’s Head” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE The Re-Stoned on Facebook here.