Fuzzy riffs, spacy atmo, and obelisks – that’s right, it’s motherfucking STONER ROCK TIME. And since we have a habit of bringing y’all the best in class no matter the (sub)genre, we’re happy to team up with Sundrifter to help debut their full album, An Earlier Time. Releasing in partnership with Small Stone Records on February 16, it’s a monolith of epic soundscapes, melody-first rock, and a deserty grit that you’ve surely heard before, but not quite like this.

Sundrifter are from Boston, a power trio who understands that good things come in threes as An Earlier Time is their third LP after 2019’s Visitations and 2016’s Not Coming Back. The album’s Bandcamp page heralds it as ‘a collection that is likewise huge and intimate, bringing together expansive atmospheres a la Hum‘s heavy post-rock vision with Soundgarden‘s unmitigated heavy revelry and melodic command and the contemplative expressivism of Radiohead. Eight songs, each one of them a world to get lost in. They just seem to spread out, and out, and out.

And there’s definitely something to that – each track does indeed function as its own planet in a solar system of diet psychedelia, pristine lyrics, and thick guitars. They’re expansive and wrought with an adventurous spirit, whether it’s trailblazing on an alien world as sick riffs provide fuel for the trip like on “Begin Again”, or high in orbit of the majesty of an ocean planet as “Last Transmission” implies with its weightlessness. An Earlier Time transcends any one realm and instead builds many, terraforming with blasting drums to foster life, fingering the frets of the guitar to wail out like animal calls, and bass to stoke the fires that keep the fauna warm.

Along with the luminaries listed above, I must also mention others that An Earlier Time brings to mind. Sure, there’s a tinge of Chris Cornell in guitarist/vocalist’s Craig Peura’s clean execution especially on songs like “Limitless” and “Final Chance”, but I can’t help but think of Muse‘s progressive space rock (when they were good) and Lo-Pan contradiction of dirty spotlessness. The propulsion of those bands and labelmates Miss Lava churn and explode on the aptly named “Prehistoric Liftoff” and “Nuclear Sacrifice”, while “Want You Home” and “Last Transmission” are more delicate affairs, a reclined seat after a rigorous journey through asteroid fields and plasma storms.

An Earlier Time is the consummate stoner/heavy rock album, putting great songwriting and progression above raw vibes that you’re likely used to, and yet it still retains those space-bound, head-in-the-clouds vibes you may be looking for as well! Sundrifter have it all and I invite you to see what I see and hear what I hear with their new album. It’s out this Friday – you can preorder it via Bandcamp and follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter though the latter may be lost in space (can’t blame them).

Band photo by Matt Darcy

David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

"I came up and so could you, and fuck the boys in blue" - RMR


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