ROTW: Haze County!

Hailing from the land of moving sidewalks and thirteenth floor elevators, Texas trio Crypt Trip definitely live up to the druggy part of their band name, while not being nearly as occultic or doomy as the "Crypt" bit might suggest. That’s fine though, real fine, as they stand out from the crowded field of retro-proto-metal mongers these days by being way more retro & proto than most, while being metal not nearly so much. Maybe they play retro-proto-proto-metal?

Their big influence/inspiration clearly lies with the melodic hard rock/heavy psych of such vintage ‘60s and ‘70s power trios as the James Gang and Cream. Especially Cream. But a wee less bluesy, instead proggier and mathier.

Crypt Trip’s own version of Ginger Baker, their drummer Cameron Martin, is the clincher (especially if you get a chance to see ‘em live), really putting on a show, exuberant and phenomenally skilled. The kind of drummer that actually makes you not want the drum solo to end soon, or ever. And he's definitely propulsive to the proginess mentioned. But it's a gentle prog touch, think T2, Saga (Sweden), Tucky Buzzard... Rural-tinged as well, which brings us back to the James Gang (see the album cover above, yep).

This, Crypt Trip's third album, came out just last Friday on an Italian label that really doesn't want anyone to have any misconceptions about the kind of music they release, Heavy Psych Sounds. They released Crypt Trip's equally excellent Rootstock last year, and have a lot of other great throwback-y bands on their roster. Look out for the Heavy Psych Sounds Fest USA that's gonna be happenin' in various venues in California and Texas in May, btw.