By Jason Wellwood
Black Space Riders are a recent ‘stumble upon find’ that I’d read about in some U.K. press. I hadn’t seen anything written about them on this side of the pond, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and contacted JE (vocals) through the internet to find he was up for sending a copy of the album to me for radio play and review here in the halls of Hellbound! Black Space Riders take the space highway end of the ‘stoner rock’ spectrum with a lot of swirly guitars, driving, groovy rhythms and lyrics about stars, space and love. And that’s just in the first song! ‘Space Bomb’ is a terrific way to introduce the band as the song encompasses a lot of what they are about. After a brief interlude it’s right back into the space rock with ‘Space is Black’. Obviously Black Space Riders are fans and have done their homework with regards to the type of music they are playing as it is easy to mimic another band during a song but here the band evokes the essence of early Monster Magnet without actually sounding just like them. ‘Stoned Bikers In Space’ gets the heavy ’70’s vibe going throughout and does actually sound like it could be something from Deep Purple’s ‘Machine Head’ record. JE’s vocals switch effortlessly from dirty, stoned Casanova to a bombastic, world destroying shout and then into a hard rocking croon depending on the song. Actually, in ‘Hide From The Spacelight’ he manages to use all three voices very effectively. ‘Voodoo Spaceship’ sees the band incorporate a psychobilly aspect but I feel it was a bit of a misstep for them. It’s still a fun song, but doesn’t really fit with the feel of the rest of the album and as a result it’s easily the weakest song on the album. ‘Space Trilogy Part 3: Space Collision’ finishes of the album nicely with a little tribal beat at the end.
Black Space Riders certainly know what sound they are going for and with only one minor misstep on this album I’d say they’ve found it. The music isn’t too spacey to deter fans of more doom styled stoner rock nor is it too doomy for the rock crowd. Is the music a case of trying to please everyone? Perhaps, but in this instance it really works.