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Volcanova – Radical Waves Award winner

Radical Waves
by William Travers at 28 July 2020, 5:40 PM

Desert / Stoner Rock is a bit of a niche sub-genre, but here we have a good example of success within that niche. Formed in 2014 VOLCANOVA started making strides on the scene in Iceland and have gone on to have storming success locally and recently have released their full-length album “Radical Waves”.

Straight away when I saw the artwork, I began to form an idea of what I would assume VOLCANOVA’s music would sound like. With the image’s emphasis on the beach and seaside location I was thinking that this record was going to be more along the lines of Surfer Rock. Boy I was wrong.

Opening with an ominous tone “Welcome” brings us into the smooth flow of pounding rhythms, open ended chords and heavy riffs. As “Where’s The Time” picks up the pace and the Desert Rock elements of the band’s influences come to the fore. Glorious vocal harmonies, a bouncy beat and an almost Bluesy nuance accents the music perfectly.

“Super Duper Van” continues in this way, with a memorable main riff, it is a track that you just want to move and sing along to. I can see this being a real fan favourite! “I’m Off” instantly stands out, with a softer, slower and clean-cut introduction before the unleashing of the energy and stylings that we have come to recognise from VOLCANOVA.

“Stoneman” plays right to expectations and the stereotypes of the Stoner Rock genre. Heavy open-ended chords, a subdued and almost lazy feeling pace to the track that gives it a seriously chilled out vibe. But I have to give a shout out to Samúel for some seriously heavenly guitar runs. Listen to this track people and just float away from here from the ethereal tones of the track. Your peace won’t last too long though. “Sushi Sam” is another fast paced, energetic and electric track that just makes the listener want to get up and dance around. A happy-go-lucky feel track it is another that I can see crowds of fans losing themselves to.

“Mountain” and “M.O.O.D” dance this move once again, however switching from the more upbeat and energetic track to the stoner’s paradise. But “M.O.O.D” isn’t the stereotypical slow, slovenly Stoner track. With pockets of energy and pace it delivers much more than a traditional Stoner track would.

“Got Game” and “Lights” have tied everything together nicely. An enjoyable and memorable way to see out this stellar album. In fact, the musicianship demonstrated throughout the extended instrumental outro within “Lights” is something that the band should be very very proud of it was the perfect way to wind everything down and bring the album to a fantastic and final close.

Overall, this is a must have album for all fans. The musical knowledge, the structure and just the overall standard produced here by this young band is hair raising. As I write this with the album closing out in my headphones, I can tell you reader, I have Goosebumps. I see big things for this young group and I hope to see more from them in years to come!

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

5 Star Rating

1. Welcome
2. Where’s The Time
3. Super Duper Van
4. I’m Off
5. Stoneman
6. Sushi Sam
7. Mountain
8. M.O.O.D
9. Got Game
10. Lights
Samúel Ásgeirsson – Guitar / Vocals
Dagur Atlason – Drums
Þorsteinn Árnason – Bass
Record Label: The Sign Records


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