If you’re getting ready to take a legally prescribed narcotic or happen to live in Colorado, you should consider dimming the lights and blasting Sierra’s first full-length album, Pslip. Hailing from the frozen wastelands of Kitchener Ontario, this stoner prog band formed in 2011 and already completed their first album with Retro Futurist Records. Formed by the core members of Kylesa, this label has a refreshing modus operandi.
“Retro Futurist Records was formed by the core members of the heavy
rock/psych/metal group KYLESA (Phillip Cope, Laura Pleasants, Carl McGinley
II). Veterans of the underground music scene and diehard music fans in general,
we wanted to put together a label to showcase young and promising talent while
offering artists a friendly home. Like Kylesa, Retro Futurist is not bound to any
one specific scene or genre; we just want to put out records of the music we like
by bands who we feel are relevant in aesthetic, sound, concept or ethic. Building
the label from the ground up, we plan on putting as much work into our bands
and releases as they are willing to put in. In an age where technology often
nullifies craft and concept, we aim to meld new ideas with the old and produce
quality records with a timeless sensibility.” from retrofuturistrecords.com
After absorbing Pslip, I promise this young band is perfect for the record label, the mantra, and they’re destined to be mentioned in the same breath as Monster Magnet, Red Fang, Kyuss, Clutch, and The Sword. I don’t know about you, but I like going into this kind of music when I’m already …in a good mood. Sure, hearing the new Slayer when you’re pissed off is one thing, but I prefer a more mellow head space for music like Sierra. These guys live by the riff, and that thrills both the guitar player and metal purist in me. The opening track, LIttle Smoke, a slow, doomy dirge is one dreamy riff after the next, taking full advantage of Jason Taylor’s 70’s classic rock voice. A little scratchy with rich vibrato, his guitar tone is the perfect complement to his old school sound.
I know that retro-prog-stoner-sludge-doom-core-metal is popular now and you have a shitpot of bands to choose from, but the ones I’m inevitably drawn to are the real deals. All “retro” means to me is that you share the musical standards of a particular era; trucker hats and Orange amps won’t help you do shit if your heart isn’t in it. Sierra are new to the scene, a mere three years old, but these songs are the result of the band’s collective years of living and loving music from decades past. There is no weak moment on Pslip, but my favorite (for now) is Psquigalogz. I love the tightly syncopated jams before the slow groove kicks in. It’s awesome to see a metal band with an actual rhythm section. Bassist, Robbie Carvalho, and drummer, Ky Anto, provide the head-bobbing backbone of this stoner power trio, merging deep layers and textures with every new track.
Sierra are hitting the road with label mates, Kylesa and Jagged Vision, you can find those dates right here, and holy shit, this is going to be a long tour. Pslip is available 1/28 from Retro Futurists Records and you can buy that sucker right here. You’ll also give your hard-earned cash to a hard-working musician; nearly a lost art in 2014. If you like sludgy, spaced out riffs with a driving drum/bass combo, you should head over to Retro Futurist Records and pick this up for an affordable $8.
Every time you spend money on real musicians, Chad Kroeger gets a crippling cold sore.
I also refuse to apologize for the terrible title of this article.