David Angstrom may be a stoner rock old-timer, but the debut album from his new band is anything but dated
una Sol are a stoner rock band fronted by veteran David Angstrom. Having moved to the mountains just north of Denver in 2012, Angstrom immersed himself in his new community and its folklore. He also recruited local musicians Pat Gill (drums), Shanda Kolberg (guitar and vocals) and Shannon Fahnestock (bass and vocals) for his new group, and their debut album Blood Moon is an eerie, tuned down record with enough originality to reinvigorate the genre.
The influence of Kyuss is very much present, John Garcia and Nick Oliveri even make appearances on the album, but there is also a very distinctive feel to Luna Sol. December, with its gigantic riff, wouldn’t sound too amiss coming from an 80s hair metal band and the banjo-driven Leadville is an eerie homage to creepiness. The spirit of Jimi Hendrix appears at the start of Your War before making way for another classic riff. There are some typically slouchy moments, such as Bridges and Operator, but even these are packed with hooks.
Much of the credit must go to the cast around Angstrom. Gill’s drumming drives everything along and the backing vocals of Kolberg and Fahnestock add something refreshingly different. The number of guest appearances on the album, including Guns N’ Roses’ Dizzy Reed tinkling the keys on Your War, aids the record’s neighbourly vibe and helps make Blood Moon one of the debut albums of the year so far.
Verdict: Stoner rock elevated by Colorado mountain folk