Posted in music on June 9, 2014
by Ian Chainey
Billow cover art
Moab, the Los Angeles stoner rock trio who are no stranger to these parts, are carved by the dusty winds that defined classic desert sessions. It's the sound of open windows on an open freeway. Moab exude that carefree freedom. Yet, this isn't a use-once-and-discard good time. Moab's chops enable replays to ripen instead of rotting. These guys can flat out jam and they pack their tracks with dextrous digressions getting better mileage than the typical post-Man's Ruin stoner. Most importantly, they offer more than just a party. There's always a sense of danger lurking on the horizon, the Santa Ana cloud of stinging sand amassing down the road.
"I Concede," which makes its premiere in this post, is the new song from the Scion AV presented Billow which will be available in full on June 16. It's a big step for a band who now sound comfortable plotting their own path. Sure, Moab's drive is suitably retro, just not in a way that feels cut and pasted from history books. It's more like they use Hawkwind's "Kings of Speed" to calibrate the needle of their compass. The voice is wholly their own.
Andrew Giacumakis' guitar playing and singing -- the latter having really matured since Moab's debut, the Kemado released, Sabbath-obsessed Ab Ovo -- is inescapably infectious. The rhythm section is plain monstrous, pounding in any hooks that haven't reached their maximum depth. That said, it's the subtle things that make Billow stand out: Giacumakis' Jack Bruce-falsetto ache on choruses, the proggy songcraft, the over-driven knockouts they've picked up from their buds in Fu Manchu. The old Moab had talent, they just seemed tied to other times. Billow has snipped the strings.
"I Concede" can be streamed, along with another Billow track, below...