Ole English, the self titled debut from Louisiana based stoner metal band of the same name is a hark back to the classic 90s stoner rock we all know and love with clear and prominent influences from bands such as Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age and Corrosion of Conformity abundant throughout the album. The influences of their home state are also clear with sustained, distorted guitar solos and slow blues driven riffs similar to Down’s earlier albums.
Whilst there is a clear influence and inspiration from the bands mentioned above Ole English have successfully and elegantly separated themselves from the general noise that is the stoner metal revival. This is all due to the instrumentation, Nick Harvey’s unique vocal style and general aesthetic of the release along with its renaissance style album artwork that helps establish the album concept and the journey of the character throughout each track.
‘Paladin’ is a solid opener to the album with its panned rhythm guitar intro similar to Kyuss’ ‘Green Machine’ and tempo to match. Indeed, the whole track is a powerful and unforgiving monolith which sets the pace for the rest of the album. ‘Visions of Ghana’ is the stand out here, not only because of it’s vocal delivery but also it’s psychedelic nature bringing to mind how an Electric Wizard/Conan split would possibly sound, complete with it’s fuzzed out repetitive bass and sluggish drumming akin to a young Mark Greening.
Overall, Ole English present themselves as a unique but nostalgia filled band that have created a very strong and impressive debut album that is fully worth the time of any stoner rock fan and bodes well for their future releases.
Ole English is out now and can be purchased here.
Words: Oli Hulett