Much like labelmate Brant Bjork, New York State stoners Geezer exist purely to service the groove. Groovy, their self-explanatory fourth long-player rarely, if ever gets out of third gear yet is possessed of its own woozy momentum – that’ll be the groove, then – ensuring that everything keeps moving at a slack-jawed, beatific amble around the darker recesses of the band’s chemically-refreshed collective brain.
It’s an overwhelmingly pleasant feeling, going along for the ride, although, closing doom rock extravaganza Black Owl aside, there probably isn’t quite enough variety among the songs to make this a truly compelling wig-out experience.
Pat Harrington’s voice is at the centre of things, a weary, lived-in croak that sometimes rises to a croon and, even less frequently, a roar. He plays lead guitar too, with a bluesy, slowhanded panache that is rather good in an understated kinda way. Like his two compadres, bassist Richie Touseull and drummer Steve Markota, you get the feeling that Harrington doesn’t really reveal his full hand until that blazing album closer, preferring to keep things loose and unassuming through nice stoner workouts like Atlas Electra and Dead Soul Scroll. It’s all good stuff, but you do sometimes wish the guys would sometimes just put the spliffs down and get a bit busy a little more often.
Still, that’s not really the stoner aesthetic I guess, and other hard rock albums are available if it’s a neck muscle workout you’re craving. Geezer prefer to massage rather than pummel, although riffy opener Dig, with it’s propulsive cowbell and catchy refrain will probably get them out of their seats at the local Darby and Joan if it gets an airing, as would the title track, where Harrington plays probably his fastest-fingered solo on the album.
What Geezer do do, and do very well despite their name, is provide an alternative to the armada of bands who think this kind of music is merely an excuse to break out the regurgitated Sabbath playbook. Even if they are a little too soporific at times for this reviewer’s taste, Geezer are never less than classy, and if the concept of hard rock as a late night, easy-listening palliative to the woes of the modern world sounds appealing to you, then every single track on this album will be a solid-gold hit.
Groovy Releases today (June 12th)