01. Pslip In
02. Little Smoke
03. Control Valley
06. Into Nothing
07. Smoke Filled Room
09. Pslip Out
[Retro Futurist Records]
Like any band you would expect to be on a label owned and operated by the core members of Kylesa, Sierra are a sludge/stoner rock band hailing from KW Ontario, which most would associate with the likes of a prog band rather than a stoner band. Their first full-length album, Pslip, is a very good start for a band that has great energy, but still needs some work.
For starters, if you’re looking for some groundbreaking album that will change the face of stoner rock, you’re going to be upset. This album is good at what it does, and for what it is. Heavy, insanely distorted and guitars with fuzzy bass and very eerie vocals. For a trio, the band have made a very dense record that feels like it is thicker than it really is. Now, if you’re looking for an album with some really killer riffs and awesome groove, then you’ve stumbled upon something that might just tickle your fancy. This album contains riff after riff of catchy stoner goodness, so much so that you can almost feel the room get cloudy with the smoke of the Devil’s lettuce and hear the sounds of a few PBRs being opened up. It may not be doing anything different, but that’s what makes it fun, because it would otherwise feel as though they were trying way too hard to make a name for themselves.
However, this similarity is also the album’s biggest downfall. Yes, there are killer riffs, and yes, it’s groovy and fun, but after you’re done listening, it’s forgettable, which is a shame, because this album had loads upon loads of potential. Perhaps if they just kept expanding on the killer riffs that are weaved within songs that are around 7 minutes long but only have about 30 seconds of really memorable parts in it, the album would have not suffered the classic downfall of any band that just starts out: sounding too similar. Sure, there are some standout moments, such as the awesome grooving solo section of ‘Into Nothing’, as well as the best song on the record, closing track ‘Pseptember’, that are absolutely infectious, but these moments are few and ultimately far between.
Negatives aside, this record is a solid start for a young band. It would not be prudent to fault them for doing what they wanted to do and the music that they wanted to make. However, to offer a little slice of advice, the band just needs to find their niche within a niche genre, which can be hard at times. It’s damn near impossible to make anything sound “truly unique” anymore (thanks, Internet), but there are ways to attain greatness without changing the entire game up. To use an analogy, this album is like the first piece of art Picasso created when he was a young boy. It wasn’t nearly as stellar as his future works, but there was potential, and he had room to grow. Sierra just need time to grow and mature, and if that time is used correctly, then this band can really stand out and make a name for themselves.
Sierra – Pslip gets…