It is with immense relief that I can say after listening to the new Stoner Train album for the second time…it actually exceeded my expectations and emerges as possibly their best album so far. It’s really exciting when the newest album from a band is this good because it makes you wonder if they’ve even reached their peak yet.
“Bannermen of Lost Generations” is the title track and a great opener that immediately sets the tone for the astonishing tour through musical bliss you are about to undertake. Ripping right along you will witness track after track of sheer energetic melodic mastery, smothered in blues, rock, and hillbilly sounds with the meanest harmonica playing you’ll ever hear.
Complete with razor edge guitars and rockabilly lust in overdrive. And you will also notice another thing. The album, which is somewhat darker, moodier and more brooding than previous releases, is in part almost like a concept album, as many of its songs have been inspired by the movie “Taxi Driver”.
Stoner Train’s uncanny ability to pay homage to their influences without sounding like them is simply amazing. It is a fine line to walk for many bands and Stoner Train’s does it with a rare combination of confidence, grace and honor. The rasping and rousing style vocal melodies are again on full display in this new album, as Stoner Train continues to craft an overall unique style that is almost impossible to describe.
You can enjoy it in all its glory on “We’re Riding Low” and “Downtown of the Living Dead”. But every song flows with a melodic mastery and raw energy that is a rare treat to behold. Yet at the same time it can also be noted that the band has smoothed the rougher edges of their sound since the release of the album “III”.
There is a little more polished shine here, which however does not inhibit the band’s raw energy in any way. And the rollicking crunch on “Revolution on my Mind”, and even more so on “Space Trucker”, plays perfect testimony to this fact.
You’ll love how they can do an old school swampy groove sounding song and break into something heavy in the flip of a switch. Try out the grit and muscle displayed on “Heading for Tomorrow”, possibly my favorite song on the entire album.
For fiery acoustic guitar and percussion rhythms, mixed with high octane harmonica, “Grey Cloud Session” will more than quench your thirst. The band closes the album down with a gentle acoustic ballad in the form of “I Know the End”.
If you haven’t heard of Stoner Train this is a good starting point. Their mix of all sorts of styles of music makes them truly unique and refreshing in a world of watered down and boring music. These guys are seriously addictive and you won’t regret grabbing this album. A
ll fans of solid, powerful, energetic, melodic, ripping, catchy, and confident roots-rock based music should have “Bannermen of Lost Generations” or at least one other Stoner Train recording in their collection.
Stoner Train originally comes from Moscow, Russia. Founded in 2011 by Serj Gdanian (guitars, vocals) and George Palchikov (harmonica) the band started their experiments in mixing Delta blues, Country, Stoner and Southern rock and managed to get the new brave essence from that, recording their first EP “Rusty Gears”. After that Vladimir Teterin (drums) joined the band and within two years Stoner Train released two LP albums “Sluts for the Rebels” and “Hobo from the Outer Space” and one EP “Back In The Saddle” that caught the attention of the underground scene in different countries.
In 2013 Serj Gdanian moved to Berlin and met Ivan Mostacci (drums), with whom the band recorded the third LP album “III”. For two years the band had been playing around in Europe at different festivals and smaller gigs, gathering new material and searching for fresh inspiration sources. And finally in August 2016 they were ready to give birth to their fourth studio album “Bannemen of Lost Generations”. For now Stoner Train consists of two members and keeps its focus on the “soundtrack” form of music, trying to create new ideas in this direction.