1968: Fortuna Havana (Black Bow Records)

1968: Fortuna Havana (Black Bow Records)

You've heard it all before, but in the world of stoner doom that needn't be a handicap...

Stoner Doom exponents 1968 – so called because many of the band’s collective favourite albums were birthed in that year – promise to add a modern twist to their decidedly old school noise but, after several spins of this generally appealing little EP I’m buggered if I can find it.

And that’s fine, of course – old and new heads alike tuning into 1968’s groove ain’t really going to be looking for anything new in the ideas department surely, in which case Fortuna Havana has to be declared a rip-roaring success. But why offer something that’s not going to be followed through?

Anyway, that’s the only thing I can think of to moan about about this release. The title track is probably my fave of the four on offer here, offering up some titanic riffage by way of introduction before kicking off like a sloth mistakenly injected with a family-sized syringe full of clenbuterol. It’s bulldozing, bruising stuff, guaranteed to shake the foundations both of those listening to it on their stereos and anyone within a block’s radius either side, and it’s cowbell driven middle section, where the band space out for a while before returning to the bludgeon to finish you off with some more megalodonic riffs, is a particular highlight.

Like I say, there’s nothing new on offer here, you either like or loathe this stuff, but of it’s kind it’s really rather good and serves to whet the appetite well for the full-length the band promise will arrive before years end.

Fortuna Havana is released by Black Bow Records on February 10th.

Scott Adams
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