Music

Puck – Puck

Stoner rock three-piece Puck bring the heavy riffs of the 90s with their self-titled EP. Formed from members of Perth metal outfits and the Novocaines and Hideous Sun Demon the band have been building momentum in the Western Australian music scene and taking out the 2014 WA Music Awards for Best Metal/Heavy Acts.

Puck

Stoner rock with plenty of sludge edge, the award winning Puck strip things down to what makes the genre great.

Remaining faithful to the underground desert sound of forerunners Kyuss and Sleep, Steve Turnock (guitar), Liam Young (drums and vocals) and Andy Campbell (bass) have taken it upon themselves to bring the slow paced vocals, heavy unison riffs, bass laden tunes of stoner metal to a new generation. Stoner rock can have a tendency to come across as one continuous album length jam, mercifully for those who aren’t metal aficionados Puck have compressed some of the best their genre has to offer into accessible 2 minute tracks.

Distancing themselves from the more gratuitous elements of metal and focusing on what makes the genre great, the band punch all the hallmarks of stoner rock. Chunky riffs with healthy amounts of distortion permeate the EP’s four tracks. It’s perhaps unsurprising that given the band hail from Perth, home of all things psych, Liam Young’s vocals are treated with a large amount reverb and echo to colour the tracks with a slightly more psychedelic flavor than might be expected. Recorded and mixed at Fat Shan Studios Perth, a studio with an emphasis on analogue production, the recording of the instrumental tracks and vocals has provided some stripped back lo-fi production befitting of the genre.

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The four tracks on the EP gel well together, while retaining an individual sense of identity. For their opening track Eye of the Day Puck deliver some simple, but cryptic lyrics and no-nonsense stoner metal riffs. Drawn out and chant like lyrics find favor over deeper philosophical or complex lyrical content. The following track Points takes on a slightly lighter tone, similar to that of other bands who attempted, to varying degrees, to incorporate the stoner metal into a more mainstream sound such as MastodonQueens of the Stone Age and Fu Manchu. While still dwarfed by the massive roar of guitar and bass, effects laden vocals take greater prominence, adding to the track’s softer edge.

On Built on Guilt guitar and bass are initially toned down to provide some space for aggressive vocals to take the lead before descending back into a chaotic instrumental jam. It all concludes with the stand out track Knowing Better. This Sleep inspired track succeeds in capturing the heavy bass groove and overall bombastic blaze of sound laid down by their predecessors.

With their initial release Puck have proven themselves adept at deftly working some of the best elements of stoner metal into some appropriately heavy tracks.

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