Sixty Watt Shaman: Seed of Decades


By Mike Pace

You know you’re in trouble when a band’s thank-you list is a page long and there’s not one recognizable contemporary musical act listed in the credits. And you know it’s gonna be a long ride when Led Zeppelin is thanked twice as “inspiration” (along with such companions as Sabbath, Hendrix, Kyuss, and Down [!]). Yeah, yeah—all good bands—and we know you wear your influences on your sleeve, but so does everyone else these days, especially in the soggy genre known politely as “stoner rock”. As with most styles, many bands attempt it (Sixty Watt Shaman), and a few wind up doing it right (Nebula, Fu Manchu). The former have yet to make it into the latter’s category, but hopefully they will find their calling somewhere, perhaps playing state carnivals or something. Let’s start with the vocals: lots of raspy grunge heavy “yeah yeahs” that are somehow devoid of pure soul, and instead sound like a cross between Eddie Vedder and some loser. No one wants to hear “soulful” vocals over this type of RAWK—give me something screamy, something growly, something talky—anything but some dude actually trying to sing. Moving on, the production value is about the only thing that screams here folks—and it sounds like it’s saying “trebly and cheap”.

To paraphrase the old woman in Wendy’s infamous 1984 ad campaign, “Where’s the bass (or rhythm guitar, for that matter)?” What else…there’s some song that sounds like a cut-rate version of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” that begins with the line, “Woke up in the mornin’...” C’mon buddy, that’s like, a cardinal sin! Hey, do you know that Sammy Hagar brews and bottles his own Tequila?

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