Isaak: The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound

Stoner rock, Italian style.

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As album titles go, The Longer The Beard The Harder The Sound is a doozy you simply can’t argue with, and it couldn’t fit this band more snugly.

Genoa’s Isaak – previously known as Gandhi’s Gunn (although they might want to keep quiet about that) – are cut from the same cloth as Clutch and Corrosion Of Conformity, leaders of the stoner scene. Kicking off album opener Haywire with the gloriously guttural roar of a proudly hirsute man-bear, frontman Hobo (no, really – Hobo) leads his bandmates into a groove so weighty and diesel-scented, it could double as a monster truck.

Basically, if testosterone had a sound, this would be it, as massive, swirling stoner riffs roll by in a pungent haze of smoke, sweat and beer. Even their quieter, more considered moments – such as Flood, with its hint of a Mark Lanegan influence – are soaked with an innate toughness and an underlying menace that threatens to explode at any moment. It’s a call of the wild worth listening to.