A colossal downer
Bongzilla is a stoner rock band from Wisconsin, and they have recently released their album Weedsconsin, their first album in over a decade. Their psychedelic hard rock album has a total of six tracks, including two that are over 10 minutes long. The band consists of lead vocals and guitarist Michael “Muleboy” Makela, guitarist Jeff “Spanky” Schultz and drummer Mike “Magma” Henry. The trio not only shares immense chemistry within their music but also shares a passion for advocating for the legalization of marijuana on the federal level. Weedsconsin is a tribute to their previous work alongside some new material for fans to enjoy.
Weedsconsin opens with a slow psychedelic introductory sound in “Sundae Driver,” one of the shortest tracks from the album. The four-and-a-half-minute track is heavily distorted and features some scratchy and whispering vocals that add on to eerie sounds that submerge the audience into Bongzilla’s world.
“Free The Weed” is yet another slow song, but it features a more sinister tone with raspy vocals and heavy drums. Bongzilla leans towards a heavy metal sound in this track and advocates for the legalization of marijuana use within their lyrics: “we must vote to smoke.” The heavy bass and drums seem to urge the audience to stomp their feet along and protest alongside the band.
“Space Rock” is a bit over 10 minutes long and features a small portion of vocals, making it an almost purely instrumental track of fuzzy sounds. The distorted guitars hold their rhythm in catchy riffs and melodies accompanied by smashing drums that follow their lead. The second half of the track seems to calm down to a soothing guitar rhythm but closes with a dark heavy metal sound.
Bongzilla includes experimental sounds in a short 30-second track titled “The Weedeater” as a homage to their past. This short interlude is followed by a 15-minute track titled “Earth Bong/Smoked/Mags Bags,” which for the first three minutes serves as a lullaby. The rest of the track seems as though the band stitched up together different sounds they enjoyed without considering the fluidity of the song. Finally, the album closes with “Gummies,” a six-minute track with dark-heavy metal sounds that pierce through the listener.
For an album that took years to arrive, Bongzilla’s Weedsconsin seems to be a lazy composition. It is an album that fans have waited for over a decade, but it seems as though random sounds that were created during jamming sessions were bunched up into a single album without a clear definition of any sort of creativity. Stoner rock and heavy psychedelic sounds can be distortions and heavy metal sounds, but the sounds from Weedsconsin do not flow well together, leaving a huge possibility of disappointment from the audience.