Thursday, June 6, 2013

Isaak - The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound



Being as I’m new to The Ripple Effect, I should start by saying that I’m a big fan of Small Stone Records and I’ve reviewed a bunch of their releases over the past 3 years or so.  I don’t necessarily like everything they put out, but no matter what the band’s sound is, it consistently sounds amazing in the audio quality department.  It’s always worth a listen.

This time around, Small Stone has re-issued The Long The Beard The Harder The Sound by Italian heavy groovers Isaak (formerly Ghandi’s Gun).  The re-issue features 4 additional tracks and has been remixed and remastered by Eric Hoegemeyer at Brooklyn, NY’s Tree Laboratory and Chris Goosman at Ann Arbor, MI’s Baseline Audio Labs.  Also worth mentioning is the kick ass cover art by SoloMacello. 

Isaak’s sound is heavy.  We all know the conversation; not quite metal, slightly spacey, kind of stoner, really just hard rock, etc.   This is all to say that it is modern hard rock, plain and simple.  Gravelly vocals (think Clutch, but not really, duh) and down tuned guitars lock in tightly with a driving rhythm section to produce a consistent album of nod-your-head worthy radio length tunes. The bass on this album is particularly heavy and really pushes the sound of the band. The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound (which in my head becomes The Longer The Album Title The Longer It Takes To Type) sounds very much like someone who is accustomed the sound produced by members of “The Bearded Brethren” or “Stoner Rockers” would imagine it would sound like.

The stand out track is Hypotesis.  Dwarfing the other tracks running time at ten minutes and thirty three seconds, this is the track that branches into the psychedelic territory that I’d like to see more of from Isaak and some of their other Small Stone label mates.  I’m guessing that it was originally the closing track before the re-issue and that is appropriate.  If you listen to The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound with this in mind, I can say confidently that the first 7 songs are great tracks to roll a few numbers and burn the evidence to just in time for the mini vacation at the end.

So we’ve established that this is a solid album.  Another assumption I’m throwing out there that the extra songs are there to fill out the LP.  That’s understandable.  However, I will stand firm on this statement:  There is no reason they should have covered Pink Floyd’s Fearless.  If you are a fan of Isaak, you might like it.  However, this is one of those songs that should NEVER be turned into heavy metal.  Sorry guys, but that is the truth.  Hearing a cover like this in a live setting would force me to walk out on the set.  Positively, the Iron Maiden cover is enjoyable and more in line with something I’d want to hear from them.

All in all, The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound is another fine release for Small Stone and hints at the possibility of more strong releases from Isaak in the future.

--The Grime




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