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Big Scenic Nowhere – Vision Beyond Horizon – Album Review

It may only be mid-January but we reckon you'd be hard pressed to find a better stoner rock / desert rock album this year!

Anyone familiar with the terms ‘stoner rock’ and ‘desert rock’ have heard the names Fu Manchu and Yawning Man. While stylistically different, both bands occupy legendary status and the two entities have now combined, with Big Scenic Nowhere guitarists Gary Arce (Yawning Man) and Bob Balch (Fu Manchu) joining forces to thrilling effect!

They’ve also roped in a few famous mates for good measure with the likes of Tony Reed (Mos Generator), Mario Lalli (Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man), Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars, ex-Opeth), Bill Stinson (Yawning Man), Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator, ex-Kyuss, etc.), Lisa Alley and Ian Graham (both of The Well) and Alain Johannes (Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell, Eleven), adding their considerable skill and expertise to Arce & Balch’s already considerable songs.

Super-group tag aside, the thrill in Vision Beyond Horizon is discovering the sheer number of surprises that are in store. No sooner are you lulled into a false sense of security by the caress of opener “The Glim”, than the fuzzy punk of the short and decidedly sweet “The Paranoid” kicks you in the cock and wakes you out of your fuggy haze. What follows is then back to a Fu Manchu meets early doors QOTSA meets Kylesa-esque lullaby that is both decidedly heavy and blissfully ethereal. This pattern continues throughout, with Vision Beyond Horizon encapsulating the free-thinking and organic spirit that has always provided stoner rock’s solid backbone.

You simply won’t see any of these tracks coming and the best part is, they’re all (all!) fuckin’ brilliant!

From the blissfully laid back charms of “”Hidden Wall” to the up-tempo bounce of “Shadows From The Altar”, the surprises just keep on coming. This is the sound of like-minded individuals simply coming together and jamming until something sticks, freely tossing ideas around and organically composing a series of inter-connected but unpredictable songs which traverse the entirety of stoner rock’s spectrum.

The fact is, it may only be mid-January but we reckon you’d be hard pressed to find a better stoner rock / desert rock album this year! 8/10

Bob Balch (Guitar, Bass)
Gary Arce (Guitar)
Tony Reed (Vocals, Keys, Drums)
Mario Lalli (Bass)
Per Wiberg (Keys)
Bill Stinson (Drums)
Nick Oliveri (Bass)
Lisa Alley (Vocals)
Ian Graham (Vocals)
Alain Johannes (Vocals, Guitar

BIG SCENIC NOWHEREVision Beyond Horizon
Due for release: 31.01.2020 via Heavy Psych Sounds


About Chris Jennings (1985 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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