Seeing the title of Volume’s new album, Requesting Permission To Land, you’d be forgiven for making a helium-fueled Darkness connection… forget it! Volume are a heavy, psychedelic rock band from Twentynine Palms in California. They actually formed in 1993, and this release is a 20th-anniversary reissue of their first EP, made available on vinyl for the first time.
Spearheaded by one-time Fu Manchu man, Patrick Brink, the five tracks may seem a little confused but after a few listens, what appeared directionless becomes clear and the signs point to quality, fuzzed-up rock and roll.
Kicking off with ‘Habit’, the sounds evoke a fascinating mix of Blue Cheer with Sabbath and Hawkwind undertones that work exceptionally well. The percussion nearly overpowers, but the guitar excursions and driving bass hold their own to bring a new approach to heavy psyche. ‘Colossalfreak’ maintains the fuzz but ups the pace and weight. ‘Don’t Look Around’ sneaks a hint of Blue Öyster Cult into the recipe (and a cowbell too) while keeping the superb late 60s references alive.‘Make Believe’ is slower and almost unbelievably, heavier with atmosphere and Hendrix-y fills that entertain as they lead to the fast and frantic denouement. Closer ‘Headswim’ adds to the heaviness and elevates the psyche elements to heady heights with a drum ’n’ bongo intro that leads into the, by now, familiar heaviness before a manic, disorganised, fuzzy-pedalled jam with an acid-led narrative preceding the jammed close.
This is not traditional rock but if you like the experimental sounds of psyche that revved up a generation then this is a heavyweight entry in every sense of the word. It will take a few listens to understand and appreciate but that time is rewarded mightily when it all falls into place. Great fuzzy stuff!
Requesting Permission To Land is out via Weird Beard on 27th October 2023.