Bloodnut “St. Ranga” Album Review + Stream…

Bloodnut

St. Ranga – CD // DD

Self Released – Released August 1, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Bloodnut…the burly, bearded, ballistic, berserkers of fiery red have returned to pillage and destroy. St. Ranga, is the sophomore follow up to their acclaimed debut, Blues for the Red Sons.  This slab of concrete has progressed the Bloodnut accoutrement immensely. While some of the tongue in cheek humor remains, the ginger heavyweights have upped the seriousness factor. St. Ranga is still fun, but its definitely not funny. Heavy stoner, massive sludge, and raw punk rebellion. Normally a three piece, Bloodnut recorded the album as a four piece. Adding a second guitar to the fold, which lends extra girth and goodness. Doug McFarlane-Bass/Vox, Nick Smith-guitar, Kyle Wetton-guitar, and Ty Boniface-drums are here to viscerally eviscerate.

Opening salvo, ‘The Space Orangutan’ builds a force of fuzz. Slowly creeping, raising the cackles. Down tempo and enveloping distortion, as Doug raises his vocal game tremendously.  Oddly, but very intriguingly sounds like the Doors in mood…albeit much heavier. The drums pause to let the main riff show its head. The redheaded beasts then explode in full on stoner glory. The chugs begin as the groove runs full steam ahead. The vocals are gravel, but with soul you can feel. No doubt Bloodnut bring the heavy, but also have an excellent underlying melodious factor that grips. The second half ups the tempo and the dirt. The brood throws in a shredding solo, then beats you into submission until ‘The Space Orangutan’ has destroyed you.

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‘Mark of the Outcast’ is four minutes of straight up beast mode. Huge High of Fire-esque intro, into a mid-tempo sludge toe tapper. Tunes like this are the reason I am completely on board with the boys in Bloodnut. Heavy as gigantic balls, while always retaining a soulfulness that is undeniably felt throughout.

Next up is ‘That Fire Inside’  This song is straight up raw punk filth. Quick bass intro and cymbal grabs, prime the ears for a fury of fiery flames.  Gruff vocals, raw guitars, pounding drums of perfection. This jam is a sharp, powerful, quick punch to the gut. You will be doubled over, in glorious pain.

‘Burning Bush’ brings back the cheeky lyrics, but there is absolutely no joking going on instrumentally. Bringing some of the thickest riffs on St. Ranga, and multiple tempo changes keep the listener blissfully on their toes. The song is executed masterfully. The riffs are sweet, the rhythms are tasty and the vocals outshine anything previously in the Bloodnut catalog.

‘Red Dead Riders’ is a sing along song. Dirty and rough musically with huge choruses. This track is a journey across the desert, looking for blood, on the back of a mammoth steed. Kicking up dust and spit, only in death do we quit. Standout song on a stand alone album.

Closing St. Ranga is ‘Song of Fire and Ice.’ No explanation needed on this song. Best song on the record in my humble opinion.

Bloodnut have composed an album more crushing and weighty than an avalanche of boulders. The fire headed gang of badasses continually bruise and batter eardrums. St. Ranga is an escape into landscapes of flame. Visions of battle and triumph. A plethora of genres in relation to all things heavy. No pigeonholing Bloodnut. New Zealand has something to be extremely proud of in this band of gingered berserkers.  These redheads have definitively smashed the sophomore slump with a battle axe. A record filled with passion and soul, drums that roll, and riffs that are raw while still being in full control. Take a pilgrimage in St. Ranga, and prepare to shed blood. It is worth it.

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Bloodnut “Blues from the Red Sons” Album Review & Stream…

Bloodnut 

Blues from the Red Sons – CD // DD 

Self Released:  September 10, 2016

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand Bloodnut (slang term for redhead) have come to pillage, with heads of fire, and hearts aflame. With bellies and barrels full of rum, buckets and flagons filled with mead, and with axes swinging for flesh with unbridled abandon. A filthy, swilling, sweaty, gang of gingers…Doug McFarlane on bass/vocals, Ty Boniface on drums, and Doug Robertson on guitar have come to party to prepare for Viking war. Legend has it that us gingers have no soul…legend, is all that it is. This band is pure grit, total grime, with a boogieing soul. Nuts and blood…That’s what Bloodnut has.

Band Logo

Opener ‘Agent Orange (In the Eyes of Thine Enemies)’ starts with a dobro slide guitar twang, then boom. Fuzzy, sludge tones hit you square in the kisser. Sounds like the cut up, younger cousin of Eyehategod. Massive repeating riffs meld with a bluesy stoner lead as the song builds up to the crescendo of thickness and whiskey soaked gravel throated vocals. Perfect little primer for whats to come on this slab of heavy.

Next three tracks, ‘Drop Dead Redhead,’ ‘Vitamin D,’ and the awesomely titled, ‘The Amber Reign Remains,’ are punk sludge barn-burners that get the carefree viking party vibe going with rawkus effect. The production is raw and powerful. Fits the aesthetic of the band and the songs to perfection. Energy level is high, beer and shots are flowing. We all know this is the preparation for war and the celebration of planned victory.

‘Witches Mountain’ is a cross breed of Queens of the Stone Age and old school Clutch. Neil Fallon with a mouthful of gravel. Thundering drums and liquor soaked riffage.  A boot stompin’ song of the highest degree.

‘Subtlety in the Street’ is a lumbering, leaning tower that could come down at any second. The fun is coming to an end and the battle plans are being nailed down.

The record takes a much different feel and emotion from ‘Fire Giant’ onward. Shit gets serious. Play time is over. The song starts with one of the many standout riffs of the record and then kicks it into a heavier gear. Very reminiscent of old Scissorfight.  The chorus is gruff yet catchy. ‘Fire Giant’ is an extremely well crafted song…as is the next jam, ‘The Red Face Blues’.

‘The Red Faced Blues’ is a cavalcade of sludged-out stoner with an emphasis on groove. Weaving and twisting with a heavy punk ethos.

This leads us to the main course ‘Blues from the Red Sons. ‘ The masterpiece of a trilogy entitled ‘The Battle of Bannockburn.’ Part one of the battle is titled Valhalla. The track begins with a palm muted riff that pummels as gang vocals shout ‘Valhalla rise, Valhalla we rise’ then the amazing refrain of “You die by an axe to the chest. On Valkyrie Way you’ll be taken to the halls of the slaves.” makes you wanna stand up,  grab your horned helmet and axe and start to visualize the war that is beginning. Redhead united we stand. Redhead united we fight. Redhead united shall destroy. Redhead united will prevail. Part 1-Valhalla is the battle cry.

Part 2 – Send in the Berzerkers. Stirling Castle is in their sights and nothing will stop the spilling of blood. Chomping at the bit the Berzerkers are released and let out the war cry as they form a Schiltron against the cavalry. Clever tactics must be implemented as the Berzerkers are outnumbered 2 to 1. ‘Bite the shield, drench the field, in your blood.” Riff upon riff, thunders of rhythm, and savage screams  push the warriors onward to the objective.

Part 3 – Beneath the Kilt ends this three part journey of medieval massacre. This is the triumph, the pride of a bloody battle. The exhilaration of victory. Bagpipes blaring in celebration.  ‘The Battle of Bannockburn’ is an amazing conclusion to this stellar record.

Bloodnut take you on an journey of another time. A time of brutality and strength. A story of sludge, punk, stoner, and noise. ‘Blues from the Red Sons’ slowly sucks you in with some fun and good time tunes on the first half, then take it up to a serious heartfelt, and extremely powerful level on the second half. From ‘Fire Giant’ to the end of the album, is a helluva gnarly ride. Strap on your kilt, grab your weapon and some bagpipes. All Hail Valhalla! From one Bloodnut to another…fantastic record.  Highly recommended for all heavy music fans.

***10% of All Album Sales to go to Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme***

Orangatang