We here at Heavy Blog are not known for under-doing something when it comes to bands we love; we like to shower them with attention and do it often. Thus, it should be no great surprise that, so soon after we reviewed their most recent release, we’re here with an Anatomy Of for Boss Keloid. For the uninitiated, Keloid are an interesting and unique example inside of the progressive stoner sub-genre, having recently changed up their sound. Digging back into all sorts of influences and tones, they brought forth Melted on the Inch, a groovy, psychedelic, classic rock inspired piece of fuzz and vibe. Thus, what more interesting subjects for an Anatomy Of than them?
As expected, the influences cited below are varied. From the progressive rock trappings of Spock’s Beard (honestly no surprise when you consider Ste’s work on this and previous releases) to the thick intonations of Kate Bush, the elements which make up Keloid are all there to see. Kyuss and Faith No More are perhaps the biggest “ah yes, of course” moments on this list, as their melodrama, heady buzz and passion definitely come across in the music which Keloid make today. So, without further ado, we present you with their Anatomy Of. Read on below to find out what makes one of the most exciting voices in stoner music tick!
Ste Arands (Drums and Percussion)
SPOCK’S BEARD – Snow
Hearing the album Snow by Spock’s Beard for the first time was a complete eye-opener for me. I bought it a year or so after it came out. I was about 17 or so at the time and still relatively new to the world of Prog. I’d already heard quite a bit from bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Planet X etc. by that point, and in my naivety presumed that all prog was showy and virtuosic by its very nature. How wrong I was. Spock’s Beard were something different entirely. They didn’t seem to go for the lengthy guitar solos, or 20 minute instrumental tracks over endless, jarring time signature changes, but instead kept my interest with 2 hours of incredible music which felt like 45 minutes! Not to say that I’m not a fan of the “flashier” bands of course, but sometimes they tend to sound like they’re playing to show off to other musicians rather than to move people. It can sound like a maths lesson on a CD after a while in my opinion, and I have to be in the mood for it nowadays. This album has been a firm favourite of mine since the first listen, as have Spock’s Beard / Neal Morse. The variety of sounds on this album, over 2 discs and 26 tracks, is mind blowing. What’s even more incredible to me though is how they keep the album flowing from song to song, completely seamlessly, and keep it interesting the whole way through. Also, Nick D’Virgilio’s drumming, along with Dave Meros’ bass playing are just on another level. I learned a lot from both of them about playing for the song and Nick is still a big inspiration to me. To top it all off, it’s a concept album with an absolutely crackers story about an albino priest! What’s not to like?!
Alex Hurst (Vocals and Guitar)
FAITH NO MORE – Angel Dust
This was the album for me that changed the way I felt about the music I was listening to. It had it all. It was heavy, mellow, intense, fun and the production was unreal too. After hearing this I never approached an album in the same manner again. I was only 12 at the time but well into my music and I had never heard anything like this and I needed more so I became obsessed with finding more interesting music, different to the normal “heavy” music I was listening to at the time. Mike Patton’s performance on the album blew my mind and I remember seeing them performing “Caffeine” on MTV. Just watching that I knew there and then that I wanted to be a singer in a band and shout my bollocks off. Every song is unreal and different to the next. I still listen to this album now regularly and I will until the day I’m dead and my ears don’t work anymore.
Matt Milne (Keys and Synths)
KATE BUSH – Hounds of Love
This is a record that I remember as always being on when I was growing up. Even at a young age I was fascinated by this odd melancholic journey of an album and still am today. An amazing vocalist undoubtedly but it is the song writing and experimentation on this album which really stands out to me. She manages to create such a myriad of flavours through her use of samples throughout the album without it ever feeling forced or out of place; it gives the clear feeling that this technology was an important part of her writing process. The second side especially (Ninth Wave) shows this off as it starts by lulling you into a relaxed calm with the minimal piano of “And Dream of Sheep” with soft sampled voices in the background to the mildly overwhelming “Waking the Witch'” This album has definitely influenced the kind of sounds that I find myself gravitating to and find her confidence to experiment in a time when the mainstream was playing it pretty safe quite inspirational. Also, her videos are generally a bit mental and I always appreciate that.
Paul Swarbrick (Guitar)
KYUSS – Welcome To Sky Valley
I bought this album soon after it was released on the back of some positive and intriguing reviews. I was hooked immediately. The vibe and tone captivated me. I’d heard nothing like this before. A combination of the epic bass-heavy grooves and psychedelic vibes which give it a strange, unique and mystical feel really connected with me. It was an album I could get lost in and gave me a huge sense of escapism. Everything about the music, song and album titles through to the artwork and packaging was cool and enigmatic to me. The Homme riffs are colossal, ebbing and flowing, bluesy, funky in places, but massive groove throughout. Chris Goss’ production on the album was strange but amazing, like being immersed inside a planet sized, dense cake of warm vibration. John Garcia’s vocals are slightly buried underneath the girth of bass, guitars and drums which give it a very ethereal and hazy feel. On the CD the songs are clustered into 3 tracks which again was unusual, perhaps to replicate the vinyl listening experience. The songs carry an array of emotions from being dark and brooding (“Demon Cleaner”) to really uplifting and triumphant (“Whitewater”). This album really set the vibe for how I approached writing riffs and to create a sense of alluring enigma with strange melody and groove.