Used to be, not that long ago, kids would listen to music like this, pass the joint around, and dance. Now, kids are listening to this band, passing the joint around, and moshing. It shows that Psychedelia, or “Hash Rock”, as Stinkeye frontman Andrew Hosley puts it, it is still as relevant and timeless as it has ever been.
I first caught up with Stinkeye completely by accident back in November of last year when they opened for Nik Turner (of Hawkwind) and Hedersleben in the backyard of a headshop/bookstore in Phoenix. I did not even know until that very day that the concert was taking place. From the first few notes, I realized that this was not just another Post-Punk band grinding their strings with the distortion knob turned all the way to the right. What I had discovered, by pure chance, were players of a new generation of Space Rock—a genre that has held a place in my heart for decades. Their sound is driven not by the Hammond organ chords and drones of two generations ago, but by hard-edged, pulsing guitar and effects. They make the “many fantastic colors” mentioned by Cream swirl in a pattern all their own.
We knew immediately with this performance that this was a band to keep our eyes on, and we got a chance to speak to Hosley and the other members of Stinkeye in a subsequent interview (seen here), as well as on a few other occasions. To help them out, we took some photo shots of them in a number of places around Phoenix to give them some graphic material to work with. We also spoke with Hosley at length about his Llantera project and other ideas (the Demos have been online since October). We have been anticipating this release now for months.
Here it is, ready for its June 15 rollout: Llantera, their first LP, is a compilation of the material that they have been playing live all over the Valley and beyond. The crisp production and mixing does not compromise the wild feel of the live performances that are preserved in these tracks. Present in the music are sounds reminiscent of Pink Floyd (hence the name of the final song of the album, Fink Ployd), as well as Gong/Paragong, Can, Hawkwind, Steve Hillage, and a number of other Euro-Progressive bands of the 1970s in England as well as on the Continent. Younger listeners than the old fogey writing this review will hear influences from Kyuss, Eagles of Death Metal, Brant Bjork, Fu Manchu, and Queens of the Stone Age. I love all of these tracks, but the ones that stand out for me are “Orange Man”, “Pink Clam”, and the title track “Llantera”. Stinkeye manages to be inspired by vibes from the past, while pulling off a modern, original sound that is neither derivative nor dated.
Stinkeye is Andrew Hosley on lead guitar and vocals, Arthur DeMuro on drums, and Harris Smull on bass. Llantera was masterfully mixed and tracked by Dylan Thomas at Savage Tactics Recording Studio in Phoenix, AZ. It is a strong start to a discography. This is absolutely not one of those albums with one or two “crowd favorites” and then a bunch of filler material. All of these songs are pretty rockin’, and can appeal to a wide range of tastes and demographics. You usually do not run into bands that you can either mosh or chill to depending on what fits your style. So, give these guys a listen and decide for yourself how to groove to it.
The Llantera Track List:
1. The Calm
2. Orange Man
3. Pink Clam
5. Bringer of Grief
6. No Spoon
8. Fink Ployd
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