The last handful of years has seen an explosion of bands worshipping at the altar of 70’s style classic rock and most of them would have been barely born in that decade, nevermind experiencing the music first hand! However, this seems par of the course nowadays and this brings us nicely to Germany’s Plainride and their love letter to the 70’s that is their debut album Return Of The Jackalope.
Instead of the blues inspired sounds coming from the UK, Plainride look further west to the good ol’ US of A as the source of their inspiration and, as a result, Return Of The Jackalope is inspired by dreams of beer, the desert, fast cars and the open highway. To be fair to them, they manage to make it work too and they sound more like they hail from the arid wastes of the southern Californian desert rather than metropolitan Cologne.
For their debut release, Plainride have crafted an album heavy on riffs, with subtle hints of acid fried psychedlia and good time vibes and yet it also comes tinged with a slight sense of forboding. The album kicks off with the full throttle roar of “Challenger 69” and by the end of the second track, “Salt River”, it’s more than obvious that Plainride have come to kick our asses.
The title track sees the band slow the pace a little and inject some doomy atmosphere but the finest thing here on Return Of The Jackalope is the epic “The Grailknights”. At nearly ten minutes long, it’s an absolute beast of a tune that’s lead heavy, woozily psychedelic and never anything less than mesmerising. Vocalist/guitarist Max Rebel goes into full 70’s rock god mode on this song and his whiskey soaked holler brings to mind a grittier version of ex-Spritual Beggars frontman Christian “Spice” Sjöstrand.
If there’s a problem with this album it’s that it could do with being one or two songs shorter but that’s a minor gripe and doesn’t detract from the fact that this is one big riffy bastard of a release. If 70’s inspired stoner rock is your cup of tea then you could do alot worse than dunking your biscuit in this tasty brew! 8/10