Psychoriffedelia by GeezerRelease date: June 9, 2017
Label: Kozmik Artifactz Records / STB Records
Not to be confused with Black Sabbath’s legendary song writing bassist Geezer Butler’s very own 1997 side project Geezer and their lone Black Science album, 2017’s Geezer are instead a three-piece stoner rock combo from New York. As the title of their third album Psychoriffedelia suggests, coinciding with the accompanying press release mantra ‘power of the riff, allure of the psychedelic’ confirms, the fuzzy riff is the band’s almighty god. And so forth merges a closer fusing of stoner rock, a slight reminder of the hard rock robustness of Clutch, plus an application of psychedelic sensibilities.
While most bands would most likely have been content waiting for the release of their recently recorded self-titled album, vocalist/guitarist Pat Harrington and bassist Richie Touseull along with Charles Ruggiero – who was filling in on drums for shows while regular drummer Chris Turco was on a band hiatus due to work commitments – created new riffs and jamming sessions commenced. Wanting to capture the moment they booked into New York’s Red Bird studios over the course of the summer of 2016. The resulting album consists of only five tracks, two of which are over the ten minutes mark.
It does mostly sound like an album born out of jamming through newly discovered hooks. Opening with a faithful but fuzzier, stoner rock infused interpretation of Dunfermline’s Nazareth and their street tough hard rock classic ‘Hair of the Dog’, implies Geezer have considerable impeccable musical tastes. The excellent riffy and burly song orientated rocker ‘Stressknots’ follows.
Then the album takes a slightly different path leading to the album’s best moments. It becomes more free-flow based and like all good jamming sessions they have captured the flow of the band when they enter the rock out zone, and hit rolling groove moments. It is indeed the two longer tracks where this happens as on the ten minutes long instrumental title track, which whirls slowly with a smooth bassline, a laidback drumbeat, a bluesy guitar refrain, before building up to a big riffy climax. While the track’s curtain finally closes with a fade out of calmer fuzz.
But the best example of a jam developing into a full-on wig out is saved to the closing track ‘Dirty Penny’. It starts with a thick slow groove and once the verse and choruses are taken care of it takes on a new life. After a brief pause of only guitar fuzz, the rhythm section swings back in shaking its hips while the guitar solos rage and swerve in delirious fashion. It is a glorious way to end proceedings.
Psychoriffedelia does leave you wanting more and while that in-itself is praise, the album title should, I think, befit a sprawling double album masterpiece. This might sound harsh, but five tracks long I feel I’ve been teased, albeit in a pleasurable way.
But, Geezer’s combination of bluesy stoner rock riffage, hard rock swagger, slow spacious grooves, and psychedelic tinged jams, should appeal to those who are fans of hearing a good rock band lose themselves in the moment of musical creation. And, of course, this should work incredibly well live.