Ponamero Sundown - Rodeo Electrica
Transubstans Records
Stoner Metal
13 songs (53:35)
Release year: 2011
Ponamero Sundown, Transubstans Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Surprise of the month

Although many of my favorite bands are well-known acts, I really enjoy digging through the underground sometimes and seeing what gems I can find. Back when I was just getting into metal, I used to frequent a site called mp3.com that showcased music from bands that were almost completely unknown and gave them a place to share their music. Today the site is no longer what it used to be, but others have sprung up to give unsigned bands the same opportunity to share their hard work, not the least of which is MySpace. I came across Ponamero Sundown on one of my treks through cyberspace and immediately liked what I heard. These guys have recorded an album that shows the stoner metal genre is alive and well in the underground of Sweden. If you like bands such as Priestess, Spiritual Beggars, and Monster Magnet, this is your kind of music. Although I do have some minor complaints, for the most part this is an album full of groovy energy and memorable riffing that is sure to give you something great to listen to on a long blunt ride.

Right off the bat these guys get in your face and in your head with catchy, memorable riffs and the excellent drumming of former Dark Funeral man Peter Eklund. Frontman Nicke Engwall has a sound that's somewhere between the smooth, higher pitched Ozzy and the rougher, more down to earth Dave Wyndorf. His voice is strong and definitely works with this type of fuzzy, overdriven sound. Evil Wand is a great song; it might go on for a bit longer than it has to, but it never gets boring. The next track Highway Messiah stays heavy and keeps with the stoner vibe. It also keeps things short and to the point, which is good because it's a pretty repetitive set of riffs. Sorrows is the first track to slow things down. The clean vocals of Engwall sound good here with the psychedlic guitar and bass vibes, though the drums are a bit loud in the mix IMO. There is also some distortion on the vocals, which I find to be a little annoying. Overall this song doesn't really go anywhere though. The Dice picks things back up with more memorable riffing and the melodic yet rough vocals. However, the song slows way down towards to middle with a strange interlude that confuses me. If this is an attempt to be spacey or psychedelic, it fails. Shot For Glory and Sinners Breed both catch my attention with infectious melodies and once again, extremely memorable riffs. The guitars are very heavy and fuzzy, and are backed expertly by the drums. The bassline that begins Sinners Breed is groovy and the riffs take it from there. Lots of different elements come together here to make this a very entertaining song. Goddess Of The Sun is simply an epic stoner tune. Every riff is big and crunchy, and memorable. The solos that are brought in are also excellent and flow with the songs very well. The vocals here are top-notch, and the song definitely has a Priestess vibe to it. Engwall uses his higher-pitched vocals here, but still keeps it from sounding too overdone or too polished. This song uses a lot of melody, but the sound remains centered on raw energy. A very nice piece of work and I would love to see it performed live. I hate to say it, but Fathomless Nothingness is what Three Days Grace would have sounded like in the 80s. Actually the melody isn’t bad, but good god guys, the overall sound (and lyrics I might add) is cliché and sappy as all hell. The song isn’t even three and a half minutes long and by the time it’s over you might wish you had died. I almost did from boredom. Or was it disgust? I guess we'll never know. But seriously, this song just doesn’t fit, especially following such an explosive track. Rodeo Electrica Part II gets back into it with the fuzzy, heavy riffs, but is quite slow. All the same, it’s fun to listen to after the drudgery you were just presented with, especially with the excellent riff combinations brought to bear here.

Ponamero Sundown have created a really great slab of stoner metal here. Almost every song brings something interesting to the table, yet maintains a certain simplicity that keeps it memorable and straightforward. I'm not big on some of the slower tracks on this album however. I simply feel like the band was trying too hard to mix things up. There are obviously some really great ballad-like stoner tracks out there, but I think these guys just didn’t put a whole of thought into these tracks and how they sound next to the rest of the album. It's a misstep, but I can overlook it due to the excellence of the other songs on this album. Once again a talented group of Swedes have shown that stoner metal is alive and well and kicking ass.

Official MySpace
Killing Songs :
Evil Wand, Shot For Glory, Sinners Breed, Goddess Of The Sun
Khelek quoted 84 / 100
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