Bendigo duo Vessel have returned kicking off their 2020 with second album release Vagabond Blues. Much like their previous work, the album overall reads like a classic psychedelic desert rock with blues and heavy metal twists.
The album only consists of seven tracks, but a few of them clock in around six minutes and longer so strap in for some long, furious fuzz, kiddos. Their influences from Kyuss, Monster Magnet and Uncle Acid are definitely felt in every track, channelling their inner Californian desert rocker.
The title track opens up the album with a fast-paced, high energy headbanger with some fun guitar shreds. ‘Twenty Twenty’ also brings the fire with a hard and heavy sound that makes you wanna fling yourself in the heart of the mosh. Good times.
Other tracks like ‘Red Witch’ and ‘The Devil’s Backyard’ revert to a more classic, slow tempo stoner rock sound delivering groovy riffs at a chill pace, although ‘Red Witch’ pulls the rug out from under you around two minutes for a funky change of pace.
The highlights of the album are easily ‘The Void Tempest’ and ‘Atacama’ which are both two of the longest tracks on the album as well as almost entirely instrumental. Not to say the vocals aren’t great, but the instrumentalism/minimalist vocals seem to be where the band really shines, allowing them to experiment more with the spacey, winding riffs and haunting echo-y sounds that mark their talent as a fuzzy desert rock outfit.
Majestic Mountain Records
Reviewed by Jess Sercombe