Planetfuzz Comp

Cowbells & Cobwebs Double CD

Planetfuzz had a dream spanning many years to produce a KICK ASS compilation with many new upcoming bands and source enough previously unreleased material to warrant a good find! This our first release will allow us to branch off and continue spreading the good vibe of good bands and allow us to put out splits, EP’s and LP’s! With so many great Labels & Zines on offer, we hope to be able to contribute to the flow of great bands being released and hopefully given our passion for Fuzz will be Successful! Cowbells & Cobwebs is sure to explore the mind, the senses and the unknown!  Now available!

Year: 2010
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 28
Available on: CD
Running Time
Disc 1:  79:37
Disc 2:  79:48

All Tracks Mastered by Paul Fox @ INDIE MASTERS 

$25.00 AUD (postage and handling included)

Track List

Disc 1 (Cowbells)
01 – Mangoo – No Clue*
02 – Orthodox Fuzz – Black Goat*
03 – Arrowhead – Eagle Death Machine*
04 – Ride the Sun – Ride*
05 – Audio Dream Sister – Marquis Moon
06 – Sons of Giants – Mr Whoo*
07 – Sungrazer – Zero Zero
08 – Moab – Morelore*
09 – Honcho – Earth
10 – Gate 9 – Rolling Wheel*
11 – Propane Propane – It’s Alright
12 – Spelljammer – Nine
13 – Loimann – T.H.C. (Towards Higher Consciousness)
14 – The Grand Astoria – Raise the Dead*

Disc 2 (Cobwebs)
01 - Inner Mountain Flame - Celestial Mechanics
02 - Maaswater Veenlijk - Whores of Babylon
03 - Coffin on Tyres - Time Machine
04 - Tombstones - The Source*
05 - Forged in Flame - The Underground*
06 - Floodstain - Slumbering Titan Slayer*
07 - Electric Cavemen - In a World Gone*
08 - Soulseller - The Temple*
09 - The Graviators - The Magician*
10 - Samsara Blues Experiment- Back to Life*
11 - Cigmouth - Damn Critters!
12 - Mother of Six - Ahab
13 - Keef - Never Smile
14 - El' Garsonorogio - Night Dream, Life Dream*

* Exclusive Unreleased Tracks

$25.00 AUD (postage and handling included)

CD Baby

As a general rule, I try to avoid reviewing compilations, because either the review winds up being a list of the bands involved with nothing of substance said about any of them, or it’s promo-speak pushing an album by saying, “It’s good, you should buy it.” Finally approaching the Planetfuzz Records debut release, Cowbells and Cobwebs, which culls together a whopping 28 underground purveyors of heavy and fuzzed out rock over the course of two 14-track discs, the best I’m hoping for is a combination of both the above. Needless to say, I’ve been sitting on the review for a while, and for me to go track by track and analyze each song would (1) take too long and (2) make for a review of such length that no one would ever read it, being of no use to any of the parties involved – bands, label, reader or myself. To give away the conclusion early: It’s a quality collection with a bunch of previously unheard material that those who think they can hold their breath for nearly 160 minutes (each disc is 79-plus) of fuzz without drowning in it would do well to check out.

A few familiar names pop up on the first disc, appropriately labeled Cowbells. Bands like Orthodox Fuzz, Arrowhead, Ride the Sun, Honcho, Gate 9, Sungrazer and The Grand Astoria are situated next to newcomers Mangoo (who might win the award for best band moniker on the comp), Loimann, Sons of Giants, Propane Propane, Audio Dream Sister, Moab and Spelljammer, and the highlights are just about evenly split between bands I knew going into Cowbells and Cobwebs and bands I didn’t. Sungrazer’s jammy “Zero Zero” shows there’s ample reasoning behind their having been signed to Elektrohasch, and I didn’t think much of it for its opening, but Propane Propane’s “It’s Alright” wound up one of the high points of the collection for its drum sound alone. Norwegian rockers Honcho check in with a track called  “Earth” from their 2010 self-released Battle of Wits album and the song is positively gorgeous in that post-Soundgarden Euro-stoner kind of way, while just a few tracks earlier, Ride the Sun show why their name has been ringing out so far over the last year or so with the previously-unreleased “Ride.”

Ride the Sun is just one of many bands showing off new or previously-unreleased material. On Cowbells, Gate 9, Orthodox Fuzz, Mangoo, Moab and The Grand Astoria also show off exclusive wares, and on Cobwebs, Floodstain, Forged in Flame, Electric Cavemen, Soulseller, Samsara Blues Experiment, The Graviators, and El’ Garsonorogio do likewise, the latter with a 13:36 extended closing cut that makes use of several different atmospheres. There are fewer immediately recognizable bands on Cobwebs, but more diversity of sound too. The disc opens with Inner Mountain Flame, who have some of Cowbells and Cobwebs’ only screamed vocals, and Maaswater Veenlijk, Coffin on Tyres, Tombstones, Keef, Cigmouth and Mother of Six all contribute varied styles within the stoner/doom subset. The Fu Manchu-worship Cigmouth get up to on “Damn Critters!” is so blatant it just has to be love, and I’d heard a lot about Keef since they released the well-received Stoned to Doom on PsycheDOOMelic last year, but never actually listened to the band. Their Goatsnake-ery was well done enough to make me want to hear that record, so if the point of Cowbells and Cobwebs was to get people to check out new bands while also announcing Planetfuzz Records’ arrival on the scene, then mission accomplished.

Cowbells flows better track to track than does Cobwebs, but that’s only because the bands have more in common sonically (and probably because I knew more of them going into this review). As I’m someone who usually doesn’t buy compilations until seven years later when they’re out of print and hard to find, take to heart my recommendation to check out Cowbells and Cobwebs and consider it a matter of saving yourself the trouble down the road. Five years from now, when acts like Ride the Sun, Sungrazer, Samsara Blues Experiment and Tombstones are helping to redefine modern stoner and fuzz-heavy rock, you’ll be glad to have these tracks on hand. I know I will, anyway. Also worthy of note is the artwork of Australian designer Glenn “Glenno” Smith and the compact digi-packaging the compilation comes in. It’s a professional collection, and obviously a lot of thought and planning went into it (the thought of wrangling 28 stoner bands for a joint release sounds like a nightmare to me), and a classic way to meet the acts who are the future of the style. Not every song is a gem, but more than enough are to justify investigation, which as far as I’m concerned, is recommended.

Compilation albums are a dime a dozen these days and most of them are usually pretty disposable but this year has provided some of the very best compilations to ever be released. Most of them have been totally free to download comps made by the likes of the Sludge Swamp, Thee Big Black and Doom Metal Front website teams but Droning Earth is still delivering their quality compilations which are now up to Volume 36 in the series. Another one has just appeared, this one is not free but when you see the amount of work that has gone into the packaging, it comes as no surprise. This 2CD set from Australia's PlanetFuzz Records and yes they are the same people who run the excellent PlanetFuzz website. This one is right up there with classic compilations from the past like "Sucking The 70's Vol.I & II" or the "Dark Passages" samplers from Rise Above Records. PlanetFuzz Records out of Australia are one the rare examples of people putting some real passion and integrity into what they do and this is one of those rare compilations that skipping a track is never an issue, this is solid all the way through both discs.

Lets start with the packaging, along with the killer artwork, they also thoughtfully have included the web addresses for all the bands making it an essential resource for all new fans of the genres included but also for the more experienced listener seeking to discover some new bands to get off upon. Not only is the digipak cover professional but Planet Fuzz really have made a musical document to cherish for years to come, this is beautifully done. Musically its 100% riff-rocking madness all the way across the 28 tracks and what killer bands have we got here. Its only logical that I like some bands more than others so lets run through my personal highlights. Orthodox Fuzz deliver a chunky southern groove, Arrowhead supply the goods in a 70's riff-fest that reminds me of Leslie West's Mountain at their peak. Ride The Sun prove once again they are a super-group of the future with their song, "Ride", Sons of Giants supply some great desert-rock sounds, Honcho, Gate 9 and Spelljammer all have excellent tracks showing this is 3 bands that should already be well-known in the scene instead of remaining flying under the radar and disc one ends with The Grand Astoria, a band that can proudly match the quality of the more well-known acts on this compilation.

Disc Two isn't a total blow-out like Disc One but it's still full of powerful tunes, most of which come from the most unknown bands of the bunch. Tombstones, Electric Cavemen and Cigmouth all have produced stand out tracks to rival ones from the likes of The Graviators and the exceptionally good Samsara Blues Experiment. In an era where record labels are facing dwindling sales due to illegal downloading, its great to see someone like PlanetFuzz putting out something of such high quality. There is not much in the way of Doom Metal on these two discs, this is for lovers of the big fuzzed out riff from bands with rich Sabbathian standards to modern Stoner-Rock sounds inspired by Kyuss and early Fu Manchu. For a starter package for the new fan or just a killer compilation for your next party with your Stoner, Doom, Sludge Metal buddies, you won't find anything much better than this. All hail PlanetFuzz for the work that has gone into this fine release........9/10

In a time where CD sales are dwindling faster that the rainforests thanks to illegal downloading it takes a brave individual to decide to start a record label. It also, however, takes a savvy businessman to realise that, to sell a product you have to present a very attractive package to entice people to buy it. Planet Fuzz Records out of Australia are the latest in a long line of people to stick their dicks on the chopping board and put a product out there for mass consumption and thank whatever deity you choose to follow that they are!!! Fortunately these guys understand that if you want to compete with the wall eyed geeks that prefer to deal in freebie bytes you have to make the public want what you've got and this is indeed a very impressive package in every way.

Let's start with the cosmetics. Immediately this hits you as more than a bunch of chancers chucking out a CD-R in the hope of making a fast buck. 28 bands over 2 CDs, Cowbells on the one hand and Cobwebs on the other, that comes in a beautiful digipak cover featuring quality artwork and enough information and web addresses for the bands to provide additional hours of research entertainment for the hardcore stoner fan. All that and stickers as well!!! Planet Fuzz have clearly thrown every ounce of passion and every last dollar into making this the most professional and attractive piece of work they can as it reeks of pure quality and conviction.

Stick this in the CD player and it would be reasonable to assume that over the span of 28 bands there would be some fluctuations in quality and some real stinkers in there but here, as with the overall packaging, Planet Fuzz have come up trumps as each band shows a consistently high level of quality in every aspect from the production to the playing and the song writing abilities. This doesn't pretend to be anything other than a compilation of stoner bands; it doesn't throw us any titbits of death metal, hardcore or punk and is 100% smoking riffs all the way. Many of the bands such as Audio Dream Sister, Gate 9, Electric Cavemen and Cigmouth will be unfamiliar to most but they all stand shoulder to shoulder with the more well known names present here such as Samsara Blues Experiment, the Graviators, Honcho and The Grand Astoria.

Admittedly all this fuzz can be a little hard to take in one sitting as all the bands do tend to draw from very similar origins...a dash of Sabbath, a mighty fuck off great big dose of Kyuss, a similarly large knob of Fu Manchu and a soupcon of Goatsnake for good measure, seasoned with some tasty touches of psychedelia and southern jams. As a result it is hard to pick out any real highlights, partly because everything is so damn good but also because of the inherent similarities between nearly all the bands involved. For the die hard stoner fan though this should be an essential...nay compulsory purchase as this one release acts as a gateway to a whole new underground world where the riff is king and fuzz is the new religion.

It is admirable and indeed essential that Planet Fuzz exists. Just because the industry is in decline doesn't mean that people shouldn't keep trying and that people don't still want to buy a quality product. Word is that Planet Fuzz have now signed Propane Propane to record an album and work is due to start soon compiling the next instalment in the compilation series. If this album is an indication of the future for the label than Small Stone, Rise Above, Buzzville...etc should be getting worried and looking over their shoulders. Do yourselves a favour lovers of the smoking riff and buy this.

Cosmic Lava

To be honest, only a handful of stoner/heavy rock compilations are particularly worth releasing. Up until now, there are only a few that have been put together with a wealth of ideas, especially those who include a lot of unknown bands and/or unknown songs from well-known bands. Compilations that come to my mind are 'Welcome To MeteorCity', 'Doom Capital', 'Judge Not...' or 'Sucking The 70's Vol.I & II', just to give a few examples. That is the way to do it! 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' offers the same level of quality, like the ones which I mentioned before. At the same time, it's also the first Planetfuzz Records release and perhaps you have noticed this name before, because these are the same guys who are running the PlanetFuzz webzine. It is good to see that there is still a vital community in Australia and I hope that their record label will continue to grow. But whatever happens, 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is a pretty impressive start because it features 28 mostly unknown heavy rock bands from all over the world with a total of 28 tracks; most of them are previously unreleased. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of these discs, and actually quite blown away by a couple of songs in particular! Here, everything is about big fat riffs, heavy grooves, and insanely fuzzed-out guitars and bass.

Texas' ORTHODOX FUZZ lay down a fat southern rock groove with plenty of blues and metal while ARROWHEAD please my ears with 'Eagle Death Machine', a killer track with super heavy riffs reminiscent of Sir Lord Baltimore or Mountain. For heaven's sake, I need to hear more from this Australian band! Austria's SONS OF GIANTS also conjure the ghosts of the 1970's, but the Kyuss influence can still be felt strongly. Both have been successfully melted together, so that 'Mr. Woo' is the next highlight for me. MOAB represent with 'Morelore' the doomier end of the heavy rock/metal spectrum and offer great potential. It seems that these Californian guys are a sucker for Yob. Norway's HONCHO is the next positive surprise and I clearly remember when I wrote a review about their debut album 'Corporate Rock', released by Water Dragon Records in 2002. Back then I was not convinced by their standardized heavy fuzz rock. It, is therefore, all the more pleasing that their track 'Earth' is very different from the tunes on the album. Apparently, they have discovered their old Black Sabbath records, because 'Earth' is their doomiest and heaviest tune so far. Well done!

Another outstanding Scandinavian band on 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is TOMBSTONES, who deliver a mighty blues-driven mid-tempo rocker. Here, too, 1970's heavy rock and metal have been closely intertwined and the result is superb. Netherland's FLOODSTAIN walk in Sixty Watt Shaman's footsteps and manage to set their own marks with 'Slumbering Titan Slayer'. This powerful tracks shows once more that the compilation offers an excellent opportunity for the listener to discover some truly impressive unknown heavy bands. Well ok, I could go and on because the number of killer tracks is simply breathtaking. PROPANE PROPANE from Sweden also belong to this category. 'It's Alright' combines Brant Bjork's coolness with Blue Cheer's mind-blowing heaviness and I can only hope that this band will release their first album as soon as possible. Ok, enough for today or this review will never end. In fact, 'Cowbells & Cobwebs' is a pulverizing killer compilation and if I had to buy it, I would do it immediately. Also worth mentioning is the demanding packaging that is just as tasteful as the included bands. So, if you're a fan of heavy fuzzrock in all facets then this should be on your upcoming shopping list.
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