The Linus Pauling Quartet – Bag of Hammers


By Gruesome Greg

Great name for a heavy-rock album, eh? Linus and co offer up a decent blend of stoner grooves and bluesy psych rock on this one, eight tracks in a little over 40 minutes. Subject matter here ranges from Crom, God of the Storm to a woman who’s all outta weed as the tunes roll by like dusty tumbleweeds in the desert heat.

“Victory Gin” offers a lighter, janglier take on psych rock, but still delivers with a heavy chorus. Meanwhile, “Starchimp” has a bit of a bluesy, grungy feel, with some big, fat, overdriven garage-rock riffs whereas “Saving Throw” tosses in some drum-fills in its extended jam session that would make Neil Peart proud.

The jams continue with “Homonculus,” desert rock cool meets Skynyrd swagger, and the fuzzed-out “Stonebringer,” which brings home the bacon. The homestretch is where they delve into more psychedelic territory, letting loose as the album winds down.

Basically, if you like a little SRV sizzle with your thick Texas steak, and some hash brownies for desert before wandering in the desert… yeah, you’d probably dig this.

(Homeskool Records)


Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.