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Stoner Train: “III” – raw and rebellious where a blend of the blues meets rock n’ roll!

Stoner Train originally comes from Moscow, Russia. The band was founded in 2011 and released 2 LP + 2 EP albums that caught the attention of the underground scene in different countries. In 2013 Serj Gdanian moved to Berlin and met Ivan Mostacci (Italy), with whom the band recorded their third LP album “III”. Raw, low-fi, coarse and beautiful, “lll” is a study in subtlety and dynamics that make the blues so visceral and pleasurable. Here, they are raw and rebellious with their unique sound and blend of the blues meets rock n’ roll.

The albumcover
The albumcover

I believe Stoner Train has two strengths. One, their creative and imaginative lyrical imagery; Most of their music reminds me of fields upon fields that never seem to end, along with rivers, skies and anything else related to spiritual energy. Their second main strength is their instrumental jam band groove. To listen to Stoner Train on “lll”, is an amazing experience; blazing guitars, terrific earth-grinding vocals, percussive virtuosity, and just plain out great rock n roll from Serj Gdanian – guitars/vocals and Ivan Mostacci – drums/percussion.

No special effects here, just pure nasty, swampy Southern rock influences. From the opening riffs on “Noisy Town” until the last chords of “Crow Above My Temple”, the beat is non-stop and the guitar playing is quite simply, and there’s no other way to put it, awesome! In between you’ll here slide guitar and harmonica interludes to further spruce up the earthy soundscapes. The whiskey-stained vocals are incendiary to say the least, and along with the melody and driven rhythm of “Gandalf Took The Drug” or “Sunsurfer”, becomes almost irresistible.

Stoner Train in action!
Stoner Train in action!

So, why is this music so overlooked by the masses? Really not sure, but what matters, however, is this stuff is available and it is very timeless, especially in an era where popular music may be diverse yet is a pale shadow of the greatness it once was. “lll” shouldn’t be missed by anyone who says they love rock n’ roll. Forget the Southern Rock, Blues, Country or Stoner labels; this is simply a great example of the melting pot of influences and sounds that classic American roots rock music ever could combine in one place. And when you consider that is created by a Russian and an Italian, it takes on even greater significance.

This is pure and honest music with simple yet effective and beautiful lyrics.  With so many good songs to choose from, you’ll be back for third and fourth listenings. Listening closely to every track on this recording, you can hear the arranging and technical skill of Stoner Train while they seamlessly put together one enjoyable song after another. From blues to Country to Rock, these boys can ‘bring it’ with the best of them. Showing from one song to the next how passionate they are with their music.

Stoner Train absorbs their influences well, and instead of recycling them, create a wonderful album that fans of the genre would enjoy. Based strictly on the strength of the songs and performances, I would imagine that this band is just as enjoyable in a live set. Bottom-line is that this is a great rocking album where Stoner Train really has put their heart and soul into and it shows!

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