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.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.