If you’re going to play stoner, why not be from Bangladesh and play stoner? Granted, not all of us have that option, but it seems like a great idea. Moonshiner, a two man act hailing from Sylhet, decided to have a go at it. Their first demo, a two-track CDr, has been brought to our attention, and since we’ve somehow become like 50% a stoner rock webzine at the moment, we thought we had to have a listen. We’re glad we did.
Consisting of only two tracks, the demo still showcases the basic ideas of Moonshiner very clearly. It’s stoner with a doomy touch, drawing on early Black Sabbath, Belzebong, Electric Wizard and the usual gang. A few things stand out. The tempo is relatively upbeat, even if it stays comfortably within stoner rock conventions. The vocals are original, to say the least. Despite Moonshiner being very much on the old-school rock’n roll side of the stoner business, vocalist Ruzlan has decided to growl rather than do melodic vocals. This means that the music, moving between 70’s style riffing and slightly more modern rock/metal oriented ideas, is constantly accompanied by dry, fairly deep grunts. While we would like to have a little more tone and power in the vox, practice makes perfect, and the concept of using funeral doom/death metal vocals for this kind of stoner is absolutely brilliant.
The music is not extremely complex, but still contains enough themes and experimental segments to remain interesting and entertaining. “Demon Sugar”, dealing with the topic of heroin, contains both chugging riffs and cool licks, as well as a rather ambitious solo. “Never Enough”, also a drug themed song, has similar elements, but is somehow slightly heavier. Both are great.
Moonshiner’s demo is just that: a demo. As said, we would like to see the doom/death vocals develop a little more flesh, but even as they are now they really do the job. There is every reason to hope everything works out well for Moonshiner, because this two song taste of goodness really makes us thirst for an album release in the near future. Apparently an EP, containing these two songs along with a few others, is in the works. While you wait for that, you can pre-order the digital edition of this demo on the band’s Bandcamp page, or drop a line to Ruzlan at this e-mail address for purchasing a physical copy of the CDr version.