Review by Deanna St.Croix/Stonerrockchick
Thank whoever your deity may be for labels like Alone Records, Water Dragon Records, Underdogma, Custom Heavy and all the other smaller labels out to help bands get their sounds out. To me, Split CD`s are the rarest of albums because someone took a chance.
Having already heard the powerful vocals and style that make up "Strict Nurse" by GENEROUS MARIA I was looking forward to listening to this split. The same thing applied to Skua, a couple of mp3`s was all I had to go by. Now the disk has been played a few times and I am happy.
The opening track, Strict Nurse, reminds me a lot of Gruntruck, which is cool. Like a trip back to the cool early 90`s metal that never made it mainstream. A lot of the comparison has to do with the ultra masculine vocals and the tempo for the songs - very traditional with some grooving guitar riffs thrown in. The song is very catchy. "Like a Dog With a Frisbee" is a more straight ahead grooving rock and roll track with some very faint but cool sliding guitar tricks. "Lack of Faith" is a bit heavier, more down tempo and more emphasis on the drums and bass for a deeper sound. This song is definietly the stand-out for me.
The whole band contributes to one solid piece of rock and roll. If you want something to put on at a party in which you are not sure what everyone is into, this CD is it. For those who haven`t been introduced to the doom/stoner scene this album would be a catalyst into that world. The closing track "Brother Pain" brings to mind Mind Funk`s "Sister Blue". In particular the use of sound that can`t be described as straight, Kyuss-like stoner. This is a great 4 song start for Generous Maria. I love the rich vocals and the fact that these guys have no fear stepping into the land of early 90`s metal.
Then you`re hit with Skua! A very different sound altogether! Lyrics starting low and airy like Radiohead or Air, carried on a foundation of excellent drumming and bass sounds. Then there is "Swirl". The drumming and the spaced out style make Swirl a very unique piece.
Whatever `traditional` stoner rock is, this is not it. This is very trippy, very groovy, spacy at times crazy all over the place at times, music. "Spittin" is by far the coolest song on this album and the one that hits my gut the most. I just dig the way that the music doesn`t compare too heavily to much. This is a stand out, all around cool effort for Skua.
"Blue Temple" is very melodic to start, with some very stylish drum work where you are propelled straight into a psychedelic dream of guitars and vocals that envelope you and the pounding drums and guitar that spit you back out again. This is a very eclectic song in terms of tempo, tone and style. More guitar oriented with soft, sweet, sexy vocals, (Vocals ARE sex), which reminds me somewhat of Transonic Science`s "Granada" (a killer tune!!). "Blue Temple" is a surprise all the way through. "Nitro`s Law" is another, even more eclectic track. I hear lots of Air/Radiohead/Turin Brakes kind of music intermingled with the heavier psychedelic music. These guys do something with music, that not being a musician, is hard to describe. But let me tell you people, this is a very cool album! Generous Maria rocks me with their deep rock vibes and Skua blows me away!
Buy this CD and you won`t be disappointed. Visit http://www.customheavy.com for purchase price and availability. Apparently this album has been going out as fast as its coming in.