Colour Haze - All
Stoner Rock
10 songs (63:53)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by James

Germany's Colour Haze have been about since 1994, and All is their ninth album. Not that you'd know they hailed from Germany. The American vibe to their work is so strong that you'd expect them to come from the same Californian deserts that beloved stoners such as Kyuss called home. Colour Haze play mellow, gently psychedelic stoner rock with a strong propensity for jamming.

Not that All sounds entirely self indulgent. Even fully instrumental tracks such as Lights feel like they're going somewhere, taking you on a musical journey towards it's rumbling climax. The band still have the decency to give us something approaching the land of song here, tunes ranging from the rollicking If to the pretty acoustics of Turns. It's all held together by the, understated, soulful vocals of Stefan Koglek, who also plays guitar. Indeed, the band have an incredibly full sound for a three-piece, Koglek laying down his impressive guitar work over Phillip Rasthofer's massively thick, distorted bass. As with most trios, Colour Haze write music based on the interplay between guitar, bass and drums, although here other instruments occasionally come to the forefront (there's even a sitar in the mix at one point) .The sound's not “heavy” as such, except in the 1960s, “heavy, maaaaaaan...” sense of the word. Instead, All envelopes the listener in a warm, womb of marijuana fog. Sure, you could argue that All's songs all blend into each other in an amorphous blob, but such complaints would be missing the point all together as Colour Haze want it to be like that.

And as such discussing individual tracks seems more than a little obsolete, save for the brief breaks from the formula. The aforementioned If and Turns are the two extremes of the bands' sound contained within songs. The former is far and away the loudest track here, carried along by a rumbling, chugging bass riff that many more brutish bands would be proud to have in their repertoire. Turns revolves around a gently churning acoustic guitar and an exceptional vocal performance by Koglek, sounding almost like Nick Drake at times.

Of course it's not perfect. The album is a bit too long for it's own good, and depending on your mood the last three songs can be more than a little patience testing. The production is particularly poor, the music often sounding weirdly distant. The drums are completely buried in the mix, meaning that the louder moments can occasionally lack the necessary momentum needed. A little too self-absorbed it may be at times, but for those wanting a laid-back slice of stoner rock for those summer nights, All will not disappoint.

Killing Songs :
Silent, Turns, If
James quoted 81 / 100
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