I guess it’s maybe not so unusual to come across a stoner rock band from Iceland – after all, nearby Sweden has done just about as much for the subgenre as California. And kudos to Volcanova for coming up with a sufficiently stonerfied name that still reflects where they’re from. Hey, there might not be a lotta desert in Iceland, but they’re definitely no stranger to volcanoes…
After a two-minute instrumental intro, Radical Waves shifts into gear with “Where’s the Time?” — a track that clocks in, fittingly enough, at 4:20. This mellow number comes to a head with a groovy, heavy chorus about wasting your life – a nod to couch-ridden dirtbags if I ever heard one. “Super Duper Van” reminds me of the straight-ahead, driving stoner rock of early Chron Goblin, complete with a soaring gang chorus and just enough cowbell. “I’m Off” combines a driving rhythm with some really silly rhymes; it might the first time I’ve heard “Yippie-kay-yay” in a song lyric – and they use it more than once!
The band’s ethos might be best captured in “Stoneman,” a slow ‘n heavy roller than brings Earthride to mind with its double-down distortion and looming, bass-driven verses. It’s two and a half minutes before the first vocal kicks in – which is simply “Stoneman” repeated four times.
OK, so these guys ain’t gonna win a Nobel Prize for Literature, but if you like laid-back, groovy stoner jams that land somewhere between Fu Manchu and The Shrine, you can kick back and ride these Radical Waves for 45 minutes.
(The Sign Records)