Is there any name more appropriate for a classic rock act than Geezer? Their self-titled debut actually sounds like it’s been dug up from your parents basement, along with the shag carpeting and that barely used lava lamp. I don’t mean this as an insult. Geezer clearly worship at the altar of ZZ Top, Robin Trower, and Motorhead, and those guys are legendary for a reason after all. Geezer may not offer enough fresh vibes to warrant being mentioned in the same breath, but they are well on their way. At the very least, this is a solid stoner record that will keep you smiling like a goofy idiot for days.
Even if you aren’t blazed out of your brain, you will find it hard not to get trapped in their smoked-out vortex. Geezer’s greatest strength is how well they nail the aesthetic they have been influenced by. No amount of incense could block out a product like this, which practically reeks of the 1970s. Lesser bands might have churned out something horribly generic, or catered solely to baby boomers who are still somehow unable to let go of the so-called “glory days.” Geezer counters such potential accusations with clever riffs that may not sound new, but certainly don’t sound particularly lifted, either. It also helps that Pat Harrington, Richie Touseull, and Chris Turco are some groovy motherfuckers. The low bass rumble, fuzzy guitar tone, and Delta blues-influenced guitar work are straight up hypnotic, and will grab your attention even if you are way past the point of sobriety.
Geezer isn’t free from some of the 70s worst tendencies, however. There are times when it really sounds like they are jamming to make up for a lack of ideas. They even overtly admit it in the appropriately titled “Superjam Maximus.” Harrington’s guitar work fucking ROCKS, but even then it can’t hide the fact that this is just a way of adding time; something that isn’t needed when some tracks are pushing the ten-minute mark. My other problem is Harrington’s voice. At the best of times, he sounds like he could be Lemmy’s drinking buddy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always fit the music. “Sun-Gods,” is so beautifully heavy and atmospheric that it sounds like it belongs on Led Zeppelin’s Houses of The Holy. The track is deserving of a Robert Plant-like banshee shriek. Instead, Harrington’s whiskey-soaked croak stumbles out of the wilderness to flat-line the energy faster than a squirrel running into an electrical fence.
These are really just minor quibbles though, because in essence this album is about the synergy between these musicians and their instruments. If anything, Harrington acts more as a charming, drunk uncle, who doesn’t completely wear out his welcome. There are also a few instances where the guys explore potentially unfamiliar territory. Tracks like “One Leg Up,” “Sun Gods,” and “Bi-Polar Vortex” are outstandingly written and show the band’s interest in hook-driven blues, intergalactic prog, and modern heavy metal in a way that is sure to appease most 21st century headbangers, as well as casual rock listeners.
Geezer might be too stuck in the grooves of yesteryear right now, but I’m sure the band’s drug-infused boogie will eventually find a comfortable backdrop in the modern era. Until then, shut up, get the vinyl going, and light up that joint. Chances are you won’t even remember what year it is anyway.
Written by Shawn Thicke
*edited by Kate Erickson