Bart M. : September seventh will mark the release of the new and fourth album by Stoned Jesus, and that is good news! The album is titled 'Pilgrims' and I think it is a very appropriate name, because pilgrims are known to be always on the move to destinations far removed from their places of origin and Stoned Jesus does things on this album that are also far removed from where they initially started. The sludgy doom sound on debut album 'First Communion' developed to something more psychedelic on the next record, to show a rather sleazy mix of heavy rockers and more stoner oriented music on number three.
Stoned Jesus obviously is not interested in performing the same musical trick and every time they write a new album they come up with a very different sound, but songs that are all easily recognizable as belonging to them. 'Pilgrims' is no exception and brings us seven very strong songs that are impossible to put under one and the same umbrella. If I had to try though, I would say desert rock. Inherent to this style, and apparently also to this band, a lot of different influences and sounds are thrown into the mix, and the result is something so groovy that you have to take care not to overdose on it. Opening track 'Excited' does a good job in setting out the versatility I am trying to describe. It shows a greatly relaxing melody that allows you to lean back with a very satisfied grin on your face as it progresses into something more and more sensitive. This vibe carries on into the next track, 'Thessalia', and it clearly becomes the main ingredient of the entire album: the relaxed feeling that is instilled by the powerful bass lines, the hypnotizing guitar parts and the catchy vocals of singer Igor. Next to the main ingredient we have several herbs to spice things up: sometimes into psychedelics, other times towards doom territory. The music keeps surprising and it shows that the band is once again shifting their progressive boundaries.
This album shows Stoned Jesus on top of their game and is therefore not of interest only to people who have been fans from the first album on, but to anyone who has any love for any of the aforementioned styles and genres. I am going to listen to 'Pilgrims' again now, because I am sure I will be able to find some more subtleties that I might have missed the first twenty times I listened to it!