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Uncommon Evolution – Algid Award winner

Uncommon Evolution
by Dave Nowels at 01 February 2020, 2:03 PM

Call it Doom or Sludge. Call it Stoner. Call it Mountain Rock.  What ever you call it, it's burly, bearded and sounds pissed off. UNCOMMON EVOLUTION hail from the seemingly unusual area of Montana, and their official big label debut, “Algid” is currently available via Argonauta Records.
The four piece recorded the album with Alberto De Icaza and Machine (CLUTCH & STATIC-X) doing the producing, mixing and the mastering.

The band is comprised of Briar Gillund on Vocals and Guitar, River Riotto handling Lead Guitar, Matt Niles on the kit and Rick Busnell on Bass. “Algid” kicks off with the low and the low rumbles of “Close To Toast”, allowing each musician to really shine. The track is a really good opener, seemingly musically themed on Robin Trower's “Bridge Of Sighs”, even containing a lyric call out, “I've seen the bridge of sighs”. Gillund's vocals are equally heavy as the crushing riffs, and that dynamic can thankfully be found throughout the album. These riffs are simply insane. There's just no other way to describe how substantially heavy they are, and if we're speaking of heaviness, the low end courtesy of Busnell and Gillund should be measured in tonnage. Everything is up and crystal clear in the mix, and I'd expect nothing less from that studio team of De Icaza and Machine.

The entire album is consistent start to finish. Simply put, it rocks. The first single and video clip is for “Harder Than Hickory” and the clever riff it's centered on. For me though, I found “Close To Toast” and the bluesy based “Lung Smudger” to be harder hitters overall. But, to beat a dead horse, you really can't go wrong here. “Algid” is a 5-track release that clocks in at a half hour. That brevity is the album's only downfall that I can find. Even then, maybe the brevity is really a windfall. After all, this brief taste has definitely left me craving more from UNCOMMON EVOLUTION.

Quit screwing around and just buy it already. You deserve it. Have I ever steered you wrong? It's not often that I love a release from the first notes, but that's what happened here. These 5 tracks are in your face, punch you in the gut, turn that fucker to '11' and celebrate 'Merica' kinda songs. Get in the van loser….we're going to Montana.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Close To Toast
2. Ice Sphere
3. Harder Than Hickory
4. Handsomely Stoned
5. Lung Smudger
Matt Niles – Drums
Rick Busnell – Bass
River Riotto – Guitar
Briar Gillund – Guitar, Vocals
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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Edited 08 December 2022

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