Dopeland Blues – Digital Download
Self Released – May 27, 2017
Album Reviewed by Ric “Suisyko” Dorr
Location – Spain
Band Members – Jesús – Guitar/Vocals : James – Guitar : Eduardo– Bass : Fernando – Drums
Self-described as three Spaniards and an American that came together sharing a love for stoner-rock and the blues, it is no surprise that this was recorded in Madrid, was subsequently released within the same month reported as recorded in and these six tracks are the first release from SPIRITUAL DOPE, using these 34 minutes as an introduction to this particular flavor to come to us from their minds to our ears. Smoke ’em if you got ’em…
Title track and opener ‘Dopeland Blues’ hits slow and heavy as one might have expected and the dual guitars take one side of the mix each and then weave back and forth as you exhale as deeply as this has made you breathe in, and there’s the rush… You inherently breathe in again, even deeper, holding it for all you are worth as the squeals jumping back and forth, through the bass that has your sternum pulsing and the cadence that your pulse has synced with. You exhale and grin wide in the ‘knowing’ and the stage has been set as this track flows as a tide slowly coming in and you can’t help but to keep looking through the dense fog in front of you as the cymbals wash across.
Whether you are a fan of instrumental tracks or not, this is indeed an incredible ‘first-taste’ across your lips. ‘Calcutta’ wastes no time jumping into a faster pace with an almost Texas-nasal quality to it that fits the chunky power chord assault that is the body of this rocker. Each member is spot-on and rolling hard, every break exact, each note screaming and you gotta have more to the point that just turning it up is not enough. ‘Karma’ is slower than the first two and Jesús’ voice is right there asking for you to ‘Let me count the ways’, and before you know it, that perma-grin is back on your face again, if it has left yet that is… pure stoner-bliss!! Whether you are baked, or not it is mesmerizing, and simply put, is just not long enough for me, even after the mad guitar break during the final section to the fade out.
‘Broken’ hits with a single, right side progression, before the left and rest are right back in front directed by that voice of rings in commanding presence to take you down this lane that suddenly kicks heavy as hell, not dropping a beat and chunky all over that again before shifting back with that virtuosity that requires that connection these guys have in FULL force as shown by this debut, SO rich in musicality and that ‘mojo’ that lacks too often, particularly from first-outings.
‘High’ really needs little mention, is the most cohesive pure-romp on this in MY opinion, and is the stand out for me and is one of those FULL-VOLUME compositions that could go on for another 10 minutes and would still leave you wanting more. Closer ‘In The Sky’ is almost sing-song for the two minute plus and the soft guitar tones suit the tone and when the solo section rings in, you are looking up with your mind’s eye as the strings command.
Pretty incredible album, hope they keep it coming as they have set the bar pretty high right out of the gate and get this one like, yesterday. Crank it up for all around you and support them live if you are given the privilege… keep it LOUD!!